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Dodgers Stay Even With Maddux, Beat Cubs in 10th, 3-2

July 16, 1988|SAM McMANIS | Times Staff Writer

Pena has fit so comfortably into his role as a short reliever that he said he doesn't even think about returning to the rotation, which he had wanted to do last season.

"I've put being a starter away," said Pena, who had the save in Thursday's first game. "Far away. Real far. No question, I feel stronger now in the bullpen. I just do my job whenever they give me the ball."

Orosco would like to be handed the ball more often. But he has not complained, just patiently waited in the bullpen for the right situation to arise.

"It's all up to them, how they use me," Orosco said. "If they've needed me (in recent games), I've sure been ready."

Valenzuela, with eight days between starts, certainly was ready. He was still concerned about his five walks but seemed generally pleased with his second strong outing following two shaky ones.

"I feel fine, and my arm feels well," Valenzuela said. "And we won the game, so it's OK."

Dodger Notes

Fernando Valenzuela said his "tight" shoulder has not bothered him during games, only before games when he warms up. "It really isn't bothering me now," Valenzuela said. "In games, I don't feel it. Just before. The heat today really helped me. The breaking balls were breaking. It was easier to get loose." Said pitching coach Ron Perranoski: "I think (Valenzuela's shoulder tightness) had to make it harder for him. He didn't have the arm speed. He's getting treatment now and getting back to normal." . . . Friday was the 10th time Cub pitcher Greg Maddux had pitched at least 9 innings, and it was only his second no-decision of the season.

Despite shaky outings in his last two starts, Shawn Hillegas will remain in the Dodgers' rotation--at least until Don Sutton returns from the disabled list--according to Perranoski. "Obviously, we're going to have to make a decision somewhere down the line," Perranoski said. "But I don't want to put pressure on Shawn. I don't even want to say that the two things (Sutton's return and Hillegas' poor pitching) are correlated. I still think (Hillegas) is throwing the ball well." After winning his first two starts, Hillegas has two losses and a no-decision.

There is a chance that middle reliever Brian Holton, who has a 1.96 earned-run average, will start one of the doubleheader games at San Francisco later in the trip. "As far as I know, nothing's been decided," Holton said. "I'm happy where I'm at, but I wouldn't mind getting a shot at starting. I feel very confident with my stuff now."

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