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Valdes Doesn't Have to Sweat It Out

April 30, 1999|JASON REID

The Dodgers staked pitcher Ismael Valdes to an early lead in Thursday's 10-4 victory, which the right-hander appreciated.

"It's always nice to have one like that," Valdes said of the Dodgers' 9-1, fourth-inning cushion. "The team gave me a lot of runs early, so I pitched relaxed. That was a very good feeling."

Valdes was upset with himself, though, for giving up home runs to Geoff Jenkins and Jeromy Burnitz. The Brewers scored all their runs against Valdes, but he worked seven innings and the Dodgers were in command after the third.

Valdes (3-0) gave up eight hits and struck out four with two walks. He threw 96 pitches, 63 for strikes.

"That was bad," Valdes said of the homers. "But the team gave me a lot of runs, so [the homers] didn't hurt us as much."

Manager Davey Johnson wasn't upset.

"Ismael made some mistakes, but it's hard to pitch with a big lead like that sometimes," he said. "It's tough to pitch like you would in a close game when it's like that."


Outfielder Todd Hollandsworth made the most of his first start, going two for five with three runs batted in.

Hollandsworth also played well in center field in place of Devon White, who was given the day off.

"That's what it's all about," said Hollandsworth, who had a run-scoring triple in the third and a run-scoring single in the fourth. "You can take batting practice all day long, you can do all your drills and pinch-hit.

"But until you get back out there, until you get in the flow, it's not the same thing."

Johnson said it was important to get Hollandsworth involved.

"Holly got a couple of hits, so now he won't be a nervous wreck," Johnson said. "He was going around here like he was going to hang himself."


Prompted, Johnson joked that the Dodgers would perform better if General Manager Kevin Malone stopped attending road games.

The Dodgers are 1-5 with Malone on the road, 4-0 without him.

"That's what that big discussion was about [after the game in the clubhouse]," Johnson said. "We were trying to figure out how to keep the head honcho out of here."


Relievers Pedro Borbon and Jamie Arnold each pitched a scoreless inning. The Dodger bullpen worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the three-game series.


* Opponent--Philadelphia Phillies, three games.

* Site--Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia.

* Tonight--4 PDT.

* TV--Fox Sports West 2 tonight, Channel 5 Saturday and Sunday.

* Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Records--Dodgers 12-10, Phillies 11-10.

* 1998 record vs. Phillies--5-4.





* Update--This game starts the Dodgers' second three-game series on the three-city, nine-game trip. Perez is returning to the rotation after missing a start because he had struggled in his first three. The left-hander gave up eight hits and six runs in only 3 2/3 innings April 20 in losing to Atlanta, 11-3. Perez pitched better in relief last Friday, giving up three hits and one run in 4 1/3 innings in a 12-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Perez has six victories and a 2.69 earned-run average against the Phillies , his best statistics against any National League club. Opponents are batting .212 against Byrd.

* Saturday, 4 p.m.--Darren Dreifort (3-1, 4.64) vs. Paul Spoljaric (0-2, 13.00).

* Sunday, 10:30 a.m.--Kevin Brown (2-1, 2.34) vs. Curt Schilling (3-1, 2.77).

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