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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Ashley Celebrates Birth of Baby, Singles in Fourth

June 08, 1997|MIKE PENNER

Celebratory cigars were given to every Dodger player and coach Saturday, courtesy of new father Billy Ashley.

The baby's name?

Well, the cigar wrapper said "AROMATIC," but what kind of name is that? Especially for a little girl?

No, Alexa Amber was the name Ashley and his wife, Lisa, selected for their daughter, a seven-pound girl born at 1:19 early Saturday morning.

Ashley said he got about an hour's sleep after remaining at the hospital until 4:30 a.m.

"I couldn't leave," he said. "I didn't want to leave."

Ashley witnessed the birth and called it "pretty amazing. By the time my wife finally had it, it felt like I had it. I was there going through the breathing and everything. I was worn out. My wife looked better than I did."

Bleary eyes and all, Ashley was in the starting lineup Saturday evening. He struck out in his first at-bat, the bat slipping out of his hands and flying into the crowd behind the Dodger dugout, before singling to right field in the fourth inning.

*

Having just returned from the disabled list because of an injury to his left shoulder, Brett Butler was out of the lineup Saturday after jamming his right shoulder while diving after a fly ball in center field during Thursday's loss to San Francisco.

"This kind of balances it out a little bit," Butler quipped. "Now, I can only sleep on my stomach. I roll over on my left side--'Oh, that hurts.' I sleep on my right side--'Oh, that hurts, too.' If I stay on my stomach or my back, I'm all right."

Since returning to the active roster Tuesday, Butler has an on-base percentage of .471 (eight for 17).

"It's nice to be back, it's nice to be playing," he said. "Prior to last year, I'd been on the DL only once in 15 years. When I'm out, I'm my own worst enemy. All the time I'm antsy to get back in there."

DODGERS' PEDRO ASTACIO (3-4, 3.12 ERA) vs. CARDINALS' MATT MORRIS (3-3, 2.95 ERA)

Dodger Stadium--1 p.m.

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

* Update--Since shutting out Philadelphia, 5-0, on May 1, Astacio has lost four consecutive decisions, including a 4-2 loss to St. Louis and Morris on May 29. Overall, the Dodgers are 3-8 in games started by Astacio this season--despite Astacio yielding three runs or less in nine of those 11 starts. Besides a lack of offensive support, Astacio has been victimized by the home run ball during his recent slump. Through his first seven appearances of 1997, Astacio hadn't given up a home run, but he has given one up in five of his last six starts. Morris, a 22-year-old rookie, defeated Astacio at St. Louis by throwing eight strong innings, giving up one earned run and striking out seven.

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