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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Dodger Stadium Is Now Reunion Arena

May 09, 1997|BOB NIGHTENGALE

The Guerrero family has been looking forward to this day for months, and tonight, will gather around the TV set in Nizao, Dominican Republic, and watch the Dodger-Montreal Expo game.

For the first time in their professional careers, Dodger rookie second baseman Wilton Guerrero and Montreal Expo rookie right fielder Vladimir Guerrero could be playing against each other.

The brothers, inseparable in the off-season, couldn't wait until game time to see each other. Wilton was waiting for Vladimir on Wednesday night when the Expos arrived in town after their day game in San Francisco, and the two planned to spend the next 48 hours together.

"We talk all the time, but it's not the same as seeing him," said Wilton, who hopes to be back in the starting lineup after being sidelined since Monday night because of a sprained left shoulder. "It's going to be nice rooting for each other. I want him to do well and he wants me to do good.

"I know the family is looking forward to it. Our parents will be so proud. That's why we bought the satellite dish, so they could see us play."

The three-game Dodger-Expo series beginning tonight also will serve as a Martinez family reunion. Pitchers Ramon of the Dodgers and Pedro of the Expos will be seeing each other too, although neither is scheduled to pitch in the series.

"It's a lot more fun for them because they don't have to face each other or pitch against the other team," Ramon Martinez said of the Guerreros. "They can sit there and root for each other as hitters. But as a pitcher, it's hard. You want your team to win, but you don't want your brother to do bad."

Pedro Martinez, who was traded by the Dodgers four years ago for second baseman Delino DeShields, said he wants to play again with his brother. He is eligible for free agency in two years and said he hopes to sign with whichever team Ramon plans to pitch for when he's a free agent.

The Dodgers, who passed on Vladimir Guerrero when he was in their Dominican camp as a teenager, also realize the Guerrero brothers one day would like to play as teammates.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

ON DECK

* Opponent--Montreal Expos, three games.

* Site--Dodger Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox West Sports 2, Saturday.

* Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Records--Dodgers 18-13, Expos 17-14.

* Record vs. Expos (1996)--9-3.

TONIGHT'S GAME

DODGERS' ISMAEL VALDES (1-4, 2.48 ERA) vs. EXPOS' DUSTIN HERMANSON (1-2, 3.72 ERA)

* UPDATE: The Dodgers, after playing patsies at home, will now play one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Expos have won 11 of their last 16 games and have hit 20 homers in their last nine games. They scored 13 runs in one inning in Wednesday's 19-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Outfielder Henry Rodriguez, proving last year was no fluke when he hit 36 homers and drove in 103 runs, is batting .342 with eight homers and 24 RBIs. Rookie outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, younger brother of Dodger second baseman Wilton Guerrero, is showing why Manager Felipe Alou called him the greatest prospect he has ever seen. Guerrero is batting .313. The Dodgers catch a huge break by missing starter Pedro Martinez, the former Dodger who was traded for second baseman Delino DeShields. Martinez is 5-0 with an 0.50 earned-run average. Dodger catcher Mike Piazza is batting .386 in his last 11 games, with four homers and nine RBIs. The Dodgers have stolen 11 bases in 13 opportunities in their last 10 games after having stolen only five in nine opportunities in their first 21 games. Valdes has only one victory this season despite giving up no more than a run in four of his six starts. He has a 1.57 ERA in his last four starts but has lost three of them. The Dodgers have scored only 10 runs in his six starts.

* Saturday, 7 p.m.--Chan Ho Park (2-1, 2.48 ERA) vs. Jim Bullinger (2-4, 8.49).

* Sunday, 1 p.m.--Hideo Nomo (4-2, 3.07) vs. Carlos Perez (4-2, 3.92).

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