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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Murray Wastes No Time Pitching In in a Pinch

September 07, 1997|JASON REID

It seems that reports of Eddie Murray's demise were at least somewhat exaggerated.

The Dodgers, already pleased to have Murray's presence in the clubhouse, are now excited about his potential at the plate. After driving in two runs with a pinch-hit single in Friday's 7-4 victory over Florida, he drove in another run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning of Saturday's 9-5 victory over the Marlins.

"How many times has he been in those situations?" Russell said of the 20-year veteran. "He's the type of guy who can come through with big hits for you, and the experience and confidence he brings to the team is great."

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Outfielder Todd Hollandsworth is back--although he's not quite complete.

Hollandsworth, on the disabled list because of a severe bruise of his right elbow since Aug. 18, was reactivated Saturday and stole a base. However, last season's NL rookie of the year said he still has plenty of work ahead before he can contribute again offensively.

He began to swing lightly only this week and has yet to attempt hitting. Hollandsworth hopes to take full-speed batting practice soon.

"I took some good, live swings like I was in batting practice, and I did increase my bat speed today," Hollandsworth said. "I'm trying to do this in stages, so today I did a little more than yesterday and hopefully tomorrow I'll to a little more than today."

Hollandsworth was injured Aug. 1 and re-aggravated the injury during batting practice Aug. 17. The injuries have contributed to a difficult season for Hollandsworth, who was demoted to the minors in June.

"This is just the way things have worked out," said Hollandsworth, batting .254 with three home runs and 27 runs batted in. "But it has been kind of a roller-coaster ride for me."

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Catcher Mike Piazza made a great catch of a popup hit by Marlin starter Livan Hernandez in the third inning, sliding into the net behind home plate to make the play.

"I felt like a tuna flopping around in that net," Piazza said. "I was struggling to get out, but I was trapped."

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