Two days before the start of a season of great promise for the Dodgers, the club received two potentially damaging blows.
First, the club put outfielder Todd Hollandsworth on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring.
And then, in Saturday night's exhibition game against the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium, left-hander Carlos Perez was struck on the right elbow by a fourth-inning line drive off the bat of Yankee pitcher David Cone.
Perez's injury was diagnosed as a bruised elbow and he is listed as day to day.
It wasn't much consolation, but the Dodgers beat the Yankees, 5-4, in front of a crowd of 42,685.
Jeff Kubenka (2-1) got the victory and reliever Jeff Shaw picked up his fourth save of the spring.
The losing pitcher was Jeff Nelson (3-3).
Saturday's game began on an ominous note for the Dodgers when Raul Mondesi appeared to misjudge a fly ball by Chuck Knoblauch that fell for a triple. Knoblauch went on to score on a single by Derek Jeter.
But after falling behind, 2-0, the Dodgers, getting a two-run homer from Mondesi in the third, rallied to pull out the victory. Catcher Paul LoDuca drove in the winning run with a sixth-inning single.
Hollandsworth aggravated a hamstring injury running out a ground ball Friday night in Anaheim against the Angels.
The beneficiary of Hollandsworth's injury appears to be Rick Wilkins, the left-handed-hitting catcher who will apparently get Hollandsworth's spot on the roster.
"It's a very frustrating situation that, after everything that happened this spring, I can't go out there to play," Hollandsworth said.
What happened was that Hollandsworth, who had expressed a desire to be traded in the off-season rather than be a reserve, hit .418 in 25 spring training games for the Dodgers with three home runs and eight runs batted in. Heading into Saturday's games, Hollandsworth was leading the National League in hits this spring with 33.
"I feel bad for Todd," said Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone. "He had a great spring and he really wanted to be a contributor."
While Manager Davey Johnson was not about to break up his outfield of Gary Sheffield, Devon White and Raul Mondesi, he was determined to carve out a meaningful role for Hollandsworth.
"I told him over the winter that he was going to be really valuable," Johnson said, "and I wanted to really show him. He wanted to be traded, but he told me that he was going to give it his all once he got to spring training. I really admire the way he goes about his business."
The Dodgers had decided to go with two catchers, starter Todd Hundley and LoDuca, but Hollandsworth's injury will apparently alter those plans.
"Now maybe we'll go with three catchers," Malone said. "Being a left-handed hitter, Wilkins gives us three left-handed hitters off the bench [the others being Dave Hansen and switch-hitter Jose Vizcaino]. Holly [Hollandsworth] was going to be a big left-handed bat off the bench for us."
The Dodgers and Yankees close out the exhibition season today.
Anaheim beat the Aguascalientes Railroadmen of the Mexican League, 5-2, at Edison Field. Page 15