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DODGER-ANGEL REPORT

Tracy Gets Club Backing

June 28, 2004|Jason Reid and Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writers

Despite the recent poor performance of the Dodgers, General Manager Paul DePodesta on Sunday reaffirmed his support of Manager Jim Tracy.

"Overall, I'm happy with the job Jim has done," DePodesta said as the Dodgers ended a six-game losing streak with a 10-5 interleague victory over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

"I think he's done a nice job using the pieces we have. I think he's been creative with working through some things and using the bench.

"He's found ways to work in [Jose] Hernandez, [Jayson] Werth, [Jason] Grabowski, which has helped give Dave Roberts some rest. Jim has definitely done some good things with our pieces, but there's a limit to what impact any manager can have."

However, Tracy has remained under the microscope with fans during the Dodgers' slide. The Dodgers were swept in a four-game series at San Francisco, and the Angels took two of three over the weekend. The Dodgers are 3 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco -- whom they play in a three-game series beginning Tuesday at Dodger Stadium -- and a half-game behind second-place San Diego in the National League West.

The Dodgers were 22-10 and led the division by three games May 12. They have gone 16-25 since. DePodesta said it's not time to panic.

"I don't want to over-analyze this," DePodesta said. "A week ago, we were playing great and real happy about where we were.

"This week, obviously, we haven't played so well. So that just goes to show you how quickly things can change."

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Dodger starter Odalis Perez is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Tuesday because of soreness in his pitching shoulder.

The left-hander said he continued to experience shoulder pain a day after being pulled after five innings in the Angels' 7-5 victory because of irritation of the rotator cuff. Perez played catch, received treatment and was examined by physician Lugo Podesta. Perez said Podesta does not think the rotator cuff is damaged.

"We're going to see what type of damage I have in there," said Perez, 4-3 with a 2.96 earned-run average. "I hope not to have any damage, but for now it hurts."

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Dodger center fielder Milton Bradley (right shoulder soreness) hit off a batting tee and is scheduled to take batting practice Tuesday before the opener of the series against the Giants. Bradley completed a four-game suspension Sunday and could return to the lineup for the opener against San Francisco. ... Right fielder Juan Encarnacion suffered a minor injury on his left hip while striking out in the eighth inning, a team spokesman said. The Dodgers do not expect Encarnacion, who hit his 12th homer, to be sidelined because of the injury.

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Angel pitcher John Lackey made the first relief appearance of his pro career Sunday, working one scoreless inning. Lackey, who completed his five-game suspension Saturday, otherwise would have made his next start on eight days of rest. ... Closer Troy Percival, activated from the disabled list Sunday, also worked one scoreless inning, his first appearance in 26 days. ... Infielder Shane Halter is expected to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment this week. ... The Dodgers sold out the weekend series against the Angels. The 12 sellouts at Dodger Stadium are one more than the Dodgers had all of last season.

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