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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Osuna Is Making Quite a Pitch for His Staying Put

May 15, 1997|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Dodger reliever Antonio Osuna had barely finished unpacking his bags in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Wednesday when he dropped the news.

He's not going back to triple-A Albuquerque.

Well, at least he has no intention of going back.

"I told everybody goodbye when I was in Albuquerque," Osuna said. "I told them I don't want to come back.

"I plan on staying this time."

The way Osuna pitched Wednesday in the Dodgers' 6-4 victory over the Cubs, he has a point.

Osuna pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief and picked up the victory.

Indeed, Manager Bill Russell conceded, if Darren Dreifort, who has elbow tendinitis, is ready to come off the disabled list in two weeks, he will be posed with an interesting problem.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday May 16, 1997 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 7 Sports Desk 1 inches; 18 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball--A photo of Cincinnati pitcher Mike Morgan incorrectly appeared in the Dodger On Deck feature in Thursday's editions.

He probably will have to choose between Osuna and Darren Hall (0-1, 1.50 earned-run average). The only way he could keep both is if they trade knuckleballer Tom Candiotti.

Osuna dominated the hitters in the Pacific Coast League, striking out 26 in 14 innings, with only four walks.

*

The Dodgers wanted Cub center fielder Brian McRae a year ago, and he listed the Dodgers as one of four teams he would have signed with when he became a free agent in the off-season, but there appears to be no chance McRae will be coming to Los Angeles now.

Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, denied once again since center fielder Brett Butler went on the disabled list that he has talked to the Cubs or is even interested in McRae.

If the Dodgers need to fill the void, they will stay within their system and recall Karim Garcia or Roger Cedeno from Albuquerque.

"There's nothing I can do about it," McRae said of the constant trade rumors. "If I go, I go. I'm not worried. But I want to stay here."

*

Cub General Manager Ed Lynch after watching the Dodger pitching staff the last two days: "I just love watching those guys pitch. I just hate to see them against us."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

ON DECK

Opponent--Cincinnati Reds, two games.

* Site--Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati.

* Tonight--4:30 PDT.

* TV--Channel 5, Friday.

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

* Records--Dodgers 21-15, Reds 11-26.

* Record vs. Reds--2-1.

TONIGHT'S GAME

DODGERS' ISMAEL VALDES (1-4, 2.25 ERA) VS. REDS' JOHN SMILEY (3-5, 5.98 ERA)

* Update--Ismael Valdes is hoping he will finally receive run support. The Dodgers have scored only 15 runs in his seven starts, but it gets worse. They have scored only eight runs while he has been in the game, none while he has been in the game in his last two starts. Mike Piazza broke an 0-for-17 slump when he singled in the first inning Wednesday. But he still has not driven in a run since hitting a solo homer May 4 against the Cubs. The best news for the Dodgers is that they are facing the worst pitching staff in the league. Before Wednesday's game against San Francisco, the Reds had a 5.35 ERA, with their relievers having to make a whopping 109 appearances.

* Friday, 4:30 p.m.--Chan Ho Park (2-1, 2.00 ERA) vs. Mike Morgan (0-4, 6.54 ERA).

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