Todd Benzinger's first pinch-hit homer of the season represented more than the only Dodgers' run in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
It could have also been a farewell gift.
"I don't see why the Dodgers would want to have me around next year, doing what I'm doing . . . even if I am making less money," Benzinger said. "In some ways, this is an exciting time for the Dodgers with all their young players. A guy like me is lost in the shuffle."
Benzinger said he has realized that all the talk last December about playing him at first base was rhetoric.
"I know that when they traded for me, they just wanted to cover themselves," Benzinger said. "If they knew then what they know now--that Eric Karros would play the way he is playing--I wouldn't be here. I might still be in Kansas City."
He added: "The only reason they got me (for Chris Gwynn) was because their minds were not made up about first base. I was little more than insurance for Eric and Kal (Daniels)."
Darryl Strawberry, who rested Wednesday as scheduled, said he was suffering general soreness after playing in his first game in more than a month. But he said his back felt fine and remains convinced that surgery will not be needed. . . . Eric Davis said he should be able to return to the lineup this weekend after missing Wednesday's game because of a sore wrist. It appears that, as Davis feared, the wrist will not improve without surgery, but Davis is still attempting to finish the season. . . . Jose Offerman's groin injury is not improving and he could be re-examined in Pittsburgh. "This is a problem that could take time," therapist Pat Screnar said. "If this were the middle of the season, Offerman would probably be put on the disabled list, but with expanded rosters, his status remains day to day." . . . Mike Morgan, who says, "I'm no longer a Rodney Dangerfield," has won a personal-best-tying 14 games. In his last six starts, during a time of the season when he typically has tired, he is 5-1 with a 1.62 earned-run average. He and teammate Mike Maddux, who both attended Valley High in Las Vegas, have accounted for 35% of the Cubs' innings pitched and 30 of their 68 victories.