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Hollandsworth Is Not a Scapegoat, Says Russell

June 14, 1997|CHRIS BAKER

Dodger Manager Bill Russell knows what Todd Hollandsworth is going through after being optioned to the minors following Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

"I was up for the whole year in 1969 and in 1970 they sent me down," Russell said. "I was only down a couple of months and I played well and they brought me up and I was there another 16 years.

"I was sent down right after the Freeway Series. I didn't like it when they sent me down, but it turned out for the best."

Hollandsworth, who had 12 home runs and 59 RBIs last season, had only two home runs and 18 RBIs in 60 games.

"He went down for a reason," Russell said. "He was pressing. Hopefully he'll go down and get straightened out and come back.

"I wasn't playing every day like Todd did last year. You've got to perform, and his performance was down. He was fighting himself and digging himself a deeper hole. He was trying too hard."

Russell said that Hollandsworth wasn't a scapegoat.

"We're not singling him out for what's going on here," Russell said. "We just need to get him straightened out so that he can come back and be a big part of it."


Mike Piazza, who started 56 of the Dodgers' first 64 games at catcher, went three for four with a run in his first start as a designated hitter Thursday.

Piazza singled in his first at-bat Friday night to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

"It was different, but it's not something I'd want to do full time," Piazza said. "It's good to take day or two off from catching and still get to swing the bat so you still keep some sort of timing at the plate.

"I'll be back to catching every day when we get back to playing the National League again."

A's Manger Art Howe said Piazza looked comfortable as the designated hitter.

"Pizza seemed to like it last night," Howe said. "At least we kept him in the yard. I'm sure he liked the opportunity to get four at-bats without all that squatting."

Piazza even beat out a hit in his last at-bat Thursday night.

"I don't think he would have gotten that last hit if he'd been catching," Howe said.


* Opponent--Seattle Mariners, two games.

* Site--Kingdome.

* Today--1 p.m.

* TV--Channel 11 today, Channel 5 Sunday.

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

* Records--Dodgers 32-33, Mariners 36-29.

* Record vs. Mariners--First regular-season meeting.


* Update--Martinez has won three consecutive decisions over a four-game span, compiling a 1.80 earned-run average. The Dodgers have won 10 of Martinez's 14 starts this season. The team has scored one run, and been shut out twice, in Martinez's three losses. Mariner shortstop Alex Rodriguez is out because of a bruised chest. Ken Griffey Jr. leads the majors in home runs, RBIs and runs. Catcher Mike Piazza, the designated hitter in the Dodgers' two-game series against the Athletics, has a seven-game hitting streak. Raul Mondesi, who batted cleanup in Friday night's game at Oakland, has an eight-game hitting streak.

* Sunday 1 p.m.--Ismael Valdes (3-7, 2.91 ERA) vs. Jamie Moyer 5-2, 4.53 ERA).

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