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DODGER REPORT

Blister Forces Ashby to Miss Tonight's Start

September 10, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna

SAN FRANCISCO — Right-hander Andy Ashby, knocked out of tonight's start against the Giants because of a blister and an infection on the middle finger of his pitching hand, has been bothered by the condition for most of the season.

But any comparison between Ashby, who will be replaced by Kevin Brown, and former Dodger Ismael Valdes, whose career has been plagued by blister problems, ends there. Valdes almost always made his blisters public, and that did not endear him to teammates, who felt he made excuses. Ashby's condition was not revealed until Monday, when Manager Jim Tracy was forced to shuffle his rotation.

"He's such a tremendous competitor, there's no excuses with him," General Manager Dan Evans said.

Ashby, who is scheduled to pitch again Sunday at Colorado, had not missed a start this season despite coming off surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow. He is 9-11 with a 3.54 earned-run average and has thrown 175 1/3 innings in 28 games.

But the blister on Ashby's finger popped during an Aug. 24 start against Atlanta.

Unable to do his normal between-starts work, he was rocked for five runs in three innings in his next start, an 8-4 loss to Houston on Aug. 30.

Ashby gave up five runs in the first inning of Wednesday's 7-1 loss to Arizona, after which an infection developed under his fingernail.

*

Chin-Feng Chen became the first Taiwanese player to reach the major leagues when the Dodgers recalled the first baseman from triple-A Las Vegas Monday. Also recalled were outfielder Luke Allen and pitchers Victor Alvarez and Robert Ellis.

Chen, 24, hit .284 with 26 home runs and 84 runs batted in at Las Vegas.

TONIGHT

DODGERS'

KEVIN BROWN

(3-3, 4.45 ERA)

vs.

GIANTS'

JASON SCHMIDT

(10-7, 3.58 ERA)

Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, 7:15 p.m.

TV--Fox Sports Net 2.

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

Update--Brown, who had elbow surgery last September and surgery for a herniated disk in his lower back June 11, will make his first start since May 26, when he left a game at Arizona after 20 pitches because of discomfort in his elbow.

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