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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Is McDowell Buried in the Bullpen?

May 20, 1994|MARYANN HUDSON

Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda faced questions concerning his use of the bullpen for the second consecutive day. Lasorda relies mostly on closer Darren Dreifort and set-up reliever Jim Gott, often overlooking Roger McDowell. The other three relievers are left-handers, whom Lasorda uses in spot situations. McDowell has appeared in only 11 games, Dreifort has pitched in 19 and Gott in 20.

Most of the Dodgers' games have been close, which would seem to warrant using Gott or Dreifort. But in Monday night's 9-2 blowout, when Ramon Martinez had to leave suddenly in the seventh inning because of a stiff lower back, Gott got the call and Dreifort was sent in to pitch the ninth inning. At that point, McDowell, who is 0-2 with a 4.63 earned-run average, hadn't pitched for six games.

Lasorda defended his using Dreifort, saying he was warming up anyway and hadn't pitched since Friday. "Plus, you never know in (Mile High Stadium)," Lasorda said.

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Raul Mondesi's single in the third inning extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the team's longest of the season. . . . Colorado pitcher Marvin Freeman, who was scheduled to start Wednesday's game, was scratched because of an upper respiratory condition and Willie Blair took his place. . . . Ellis Burks was sidelined because of a sprained left wrist he suffered on a checked swing in his second at-bat during Tuesday's game. . . . Ramon Martinez's stiff lower back has improved and he appears on schedule to start Saturday. . . . Todd Worrell said he felt fine the day after throwing, but Lasorda said he wasn't sure yet if Worrell will be ready to come off the disabled list Friday.

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