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DODGER REPORT

Perez Will Get a Nine-Day Rest

July 24, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna

SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers will take advantage of off days Thursday and Monday and skip Odalis Perez's next start in the rotation, in hopes that nine days between games will refresh the fatigued left-hander.

Perez, 23, has thrown 144 1/3 innings this season, 49 more than he has thrown in any of his three previous big league seasons, and he appeared to hit a wall in late June.

After going 9-3 with a 2.33 earned-run average in his first 16 games, Perez has gone 1-4 with a 7.31 ERA in his last five starts, giving up 23 earned runs on 41 hits in 28 1/3 innings. He was hit hard in Monday night's 5-2 loss to the Padres, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, five for extra bases, in five innings.

"He's way out beyond anywhere he's gone as far as innings pitched," Dodger Manager Jim Tracy said. "He's 23, he's in unchartered waters, and he also had a Tommy John [arm] surgery [in 2000]. This is the right thing to do."

After Kazuhisa Ishii pitches today's series finale against San Diego, Hideo Nomo, Omar Daal and Andy Ashby will pitch this weekend in San Francisco. Ishii, Nomo and Perez (on Aug. 1) will start in Cincinnati next Tuesday through Thursday.

*

Darren Dreifort's scheduled three-inning simulated game was canceled Tuesday because the right-hander, who is recovering from major elbow surgery, has a sore right knee, an injury that will push back his anticipated minor league rehabilitation assignment indefinitely.

Dreifort will return to Los Angeles today to be examined by Dr. Frank Jobe, Dodger team physician, and he will likely undergo an MRI test. Trainer Stan Johnston said the injury was sustained over a period of time and not the result of a recent trauma. Dreifort was able to throw lightly in the bullpen Tuesday.

"It could be nothing, it could be something, we'll wait and see," Dreifort said. "If it was serious, I wouldn't be walking, so I'm not overly concerned."

*

Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, the No. 2 batter in Tracy's original lineup Tuesday night, was scratched because of a strained lower back, an injury he sustained while ranging far behind the second base bag to field a grounder and make an off-balance throw to first in the fifth inning Monday night.

Grudzielanek, who has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats, underwent several hours of treatment and was given muscle relaxants. He said it was a little more serious than the back injury that plagued him earlier this season.

"I definitely tweaked it or pulled it a little more," Grudzielanek said. "I couldn't sleep much [Monday] night. This couldn't have come at a worse time."

Grudzielanek will be re-evaluated today but is doubtful for the series finale.

TODAY

DODGERS'

KAZUHISA

ISHII

(12-5, 3.31 ERA)

vs.

PADRES'

BOBBY

JONES

(6-5, 4.73 ERA)

Qualcomm Stadium, 2

TV--Fox Sports Net 2. Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

Update--Ishii has been a model of consistency, giving up 11 earned runs in 37 innings of his last six starts.

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