That near home run was a precursor to Marshall's 400-foot, two-run shot to the deepest part of the stadium. It was the second home run in as many games for Marshall after a drought that dated back to an Aug. 19 game against the Montreal Expos.
Neither Gibson nor Marshall would produce the rest of the night.
Disregarding his towering home run, Marshall said, "I stunk at the plate." Gibson struck out twice, the second time with Sax on third in the sixth.
"I'm just struggling myself," Gibson said. "There's no excuses. It just happened."
Asked if he and his Dodger teammates are just too eager to clinch the West title, Gibson shrugged and said: "I don't think so."
Dodger pitching coach Ron Perranoski, without confirming that Orel Hershiser will be the Dodgers' starting pitcher in the first game of the playoffs, said Thursday that he wanted to adjust the rotation a week ahead of time so that the pitchers would be acclimated to the days between starts before the playoffs. "It's better to do it this week than next week," Perranoski said. "It's better to have Orel pitch on three days' rest (tonight) than next week." . . . The Dodgers canceled their meeting to divide playoff money that originally was scheduled for Thursday night. "Too many superstitious guys on this team," Dave Anderson, the team representative, said. "We'll do it the day after we clinch." The players did meet, however, to discuss playoff ticket requests and dealing with the expected increased media coverage during the playoffs. . . . Rookie Mike Devereaux, who singled in the game-winning hit in the 10th inning of the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader, called it the biggest hit of his career. "I've never had a game-ending hit," Devereaux said. "Last year, I had a game-winning hit, but it wasn't the same. This year, we're in the pennant race and the games mean more." Devereaux, a triple-A All-Star, had only 33 at-bats entering Thursday night's game. "I hope that I might (get to play more). I can't do anything unless I get to play in that situation." . . . Fernando Valenzuela threw his second simulated game Thursday. He pitched three innings and received good reviews from Perranoski and several players who hit against him. However, neither Valenzuela nor Perranoski would speculate about whether Valenzuela would test his left shoulder in a game this season. Devereaux said Valenzuela pitched as if he is ready to return. "I've never hit against him, but he looked like he could get hitters out. His fastball was working well." . . . As expected, all seven Dodger coaches--Perranoski, Joe Amalfitano, Bill Russell, Manny Mota, Ben Hines, Mark Cresse and Joe Ferguson--have signed contracts for next season.