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Victory Is Just Beyond Dodgers' Reach, 4-3

June 11, 1988|BILL PLASCHKE | Times Staff Writer

Out came Leary, and in came Orosco, who had allowed two runs in two innings in his last appearance, June 1 in New York. This time he fared just as poorly; it just didn't take him as long.

Kruk hit his third pitch to right field for a run-scoring flyout. Six pitches later, Santiago doubled to left, and Orosco was gone. Only Alejandro Pena and a ground-out by Chris Brown on an 0-and-2 pitch saved the Dodgers. Temporarily.

Dodger Notes

Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela was fitted with goggle-type "athletic glasses" Thursday and may wear them in his next start, Tuesday in Atlanta. Valenzuela wears wire-rimmed glasses when he hits but not when he pitches, because he had not found glasses that allowed him to see out of the corner of his eye. These new wraparound glasses would correct that problem. "It's up to Fernando whether he wears them," said Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president. "But he did show a lot of interest in them and says he is going to test them."

It's Him Again Dept: Outfielder Jose Gonzalez returned to the big leagues during the middle of a season for the fourth time in four years Friday. This time he came from triple-A Albuquerque, N.M., to fill a spot vacated by Pedro Guerrero, who went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with an aching back. Gonzalez is glad he's here but at the same time is treating it like, who are they kidding? With his .326 average in triple-A--and 4 homers and 15 total extra-base hits in 58 hits--he knows he can play somewhere in the major leagues. But with the Dodgers' talent and depth, he knows it may not be here. "All I ever think about is being a Dodger, that's all I ever wanted to be when I grew up," said Gonzalez, 23, a native of the Dominican Republic. "But I know I can do it, I can play in the major leagues, and if not here, then with some other team. I don't want to be in triple-A year after year (this was his third season at Albuquerque). Somehow, I have to get out of there." Gonzalez will originally serve only as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement, but as Steve Sax reminded from the other side of the clubhouse Friday, he has to be ready for anything. "There are certain things he has no control over, and he can't worry about those things," Sax said. "He has to keep the faith, keep thinking that something will break, and you never know, one day it will. Just by being here, he's getting exposure. People around the league know that he's here for a reason."

Shortstop Alfredo Griffin has returned to his home in the Dominican Republic on family business and won't rejoin the club until Wednesday in Atlanta. Griffin, on the 21-day disabled list, is not expected to return to the lineup for as many as 21 more days.

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