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Green Tries to Regain Swing

June 14, 2003|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

CLEVELAND — Shawn Green went two for five with a run batted in Friday night in a 4-3, 10-inning interleague victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The Dodgers hope the All-Star right fielder builds on that performance after a four-for-36 slump.

"He's obviously not himself right now, and he knows that," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "He goes through these things mentally, but he always gets himself out of it. He's going to come out of it again."

Green was three for 16 on the trip. Overall, he's batting .261 with seven home runs and 32 runs batted in. He won't make excuses, accepting the responsibility that accompanies his $84-million contract.

"It eats at me," Green said. "I definitely care a lot, I want to do good for my teammates, because I realize I have an important role on this team.

"In that sense, maybe it does add some pressure. But that's just part of my job."

Green acknowledges the strain of his slump has been draining, but he remains focused on the big picture.

"It's definitely a tough cycle, because you have to be very relaxed in your mind [to hit], and it's hard to relax when you're trying hard," he said. "The fact that we're winning games and are in the race makes it a little easier.

"At the same time, I know that if I'm swinging better, we're going to be in an even better situation. I want to get to that point. But regardless of my numbers, if we get to the playoffs, it will be the best year I ever put on a uniform."


Right-hander Andy Ashby's rotation audition continues today against the Indians.

Ashby acknowledges he doesn't have much time to impress, considering left-hander Wilson Alvarez is eager for his shot at the job opened because Darren Dreifort is scheduled to undergo season-ending knee surgery Wednesday.

"I understand the situation I'm in," Ashby said. "I feel like I'm doing absolutely nothing to help this team."

Ashby, who has made only one other start while working long relief, took the loss last Saturday, 4-1, against the Chicago White Sox, pitching three innings and giving up two runs.

"The main thing is to try and stay positive," Ashby said. "On the other hand, you want to pitch great every time out, especially the way these guys are throwing."


First baseman Fred McGriff left in the sixth because of tightness in his groin. "It's been tight for a while," said McGriff, who had a run-scoring single. "I'll come in early [today] and get treatment, and we'll see."

If McGriff plays, Tracy said he would be the designated hitter. Lo Duca would play first and David Ross would catch.


Daryle Ward, on rehabilitation assignment, was 0 for 4 in a double-A game at Jacksonville.

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