That brought up Gibson, second to Marshall for the club lead in runs batted in. After working the count to 2-and-2, Gibson fouled off three straight pitches, the last of which was almost caught down the left-field line by a sprinting Vince Coleman. Finally, DeLeon struck out Gibson on a pitch that appeared to be well outside the strike zone.
DeLeon appeared on his way to escaping the sixth without any complications, when Scioscia and Hamilton slashed consecutive singles to give the Dodgers another scoring opportunity. This time, Anderson lined to center for the third out.
Reliever Jay Howell (fractured rib) apparently convinced Dodger decision-makers that he is fit enough to come off the disabled list. Howell threw in a simulated game against Dodger reserves for about 15 minutes before Wednesday's game. He said he felt no pain in his chest and also that he pitched well. "It's a go," Howell said. "I'm ready to come off (the disabled list). I threw everything, and I felt great. The velocity was there and I had a lot of break on my breaking ball, maybe too much." Trainer Bill Buhler said he would like to see how Howell feels today--a day off for the club--before activating him. . . . Buhler said that a term on the disabled list is a distinct possbility for Mickey Hatcher, bothered by a strained left groin. Hatcher also has lingering pain from a strained right groin earlier in the season. . . . Trainers reported that the swelling in Don Sutton's strained right elbow is almost gone but that it is still tender. Sutton probably will not start lightly throwing until after the All-Star break.
Fred Claire, the Dodgers' executive vice president, said Tim Belcher will return to the rotation once Jay Howell returns to full effectiveness. But Claire said he still believes Belcher, possessor of a 90-m.p.h. fastball, can be a quality short reliever. "If Jay is sound, we'll be back to the way the bullpen originally was at the start of the season, which wasn't too bad," Claire said. . . . Actors Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen worked out with the Dodgers before Wednesday's game in preparation for an upcoming film with a baseball theme. Former Dodger Steve Yeager is serving as a technical adviser on the project. . . . The Dodgers are off today and open a three-game series Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.