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With four strikeouts, Jones still needs work

July 05, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Penciling Andruw Jones into the lineup Friday against the San Francisco Giants, Manager Joe Torre said he hoped he would see "a different Andruw."

But Jones, who was hitting .165 when he went down in May because of a knee injury that required surgery, struck out in his first four trips to the plate. He grounded out to third in his last at-bat.

Torre excused the performance, saying, "He's rehabbing right now, as far as I'm concerned."

Jones, who last played May 23, wasn't expected back until after the All-Star break, but he called Torre to say he would be available sooner upon learning that Juan Pierre could be out four to six weeks because of a sprained left knee. Jones' rehab assignment with triple-A Las Vegas lasted three games.

"I felt good at the plate," said Jones, who played the entire game in center field. "They just made tough pitches."

Roster moves

To clear spots on the active roster for Jones and Nomar Garciaparra, the Dodgers optioned Jason Repko to triple-A Las Vegas and moved Mark Sweeney to the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring that he has had for the last month.

A place on the 40-man roster was created for Garciaparra, who was on the 60-day DL, by moving Rafael Furcal, who had back surgery Thursday, to the 60-day DL.

Torre said Sweeney, 38, would be given close to a week to rest and sent to a minor league rehab assignment. Sweeney said his leg wasn't responsible for his .094 average, but Torre argued otherwise, adding that he didn't think the pinch-hitting specialist was done as a player.

"Early in the year, in spring training, it looked like his bat speed was fine," Torre said. "That hasn't been the case lately and I don't think that happens as much from April to July as it does from November to February."

A little sloppy

Torre wasn't pleased with what he saw late in the game in the Dodgers' 10-7 victory Friday, leading him to call a brief postgame team meeting.

A couple of errors cut the Dodgers' lead from 9-5 to 9-7 in the eighth inning.

"It was a sloppy game," Torre said. "We were lucky to win."

Offensive surge

The Dodgers have scored 26 runs over their four-game winning streak and Torre said he was particularly pleased with how they forced starter Jonathan Sanchez out of the game after five innings by running his pitch count up to 110. Sanchez's exit led to the entry of Osiris Matos, who made his major league debut the previous day. The Dodgers pounded Matos for five runs in the sixth to turn a 5-3 deficit into an 8-5 lead.

The Dodgers had seven doubles, the most they've had in a game since they had seven April 16, 1988 against the Atlanta Braves. Andre Ethier was three for six with three runs batted in and became the first Dodger to 10 home runs. Andy LaRoche hit a home run in the ninth.

New addition

Eric Stults, who left the team to be present for the birth of his second daughter in Indiana this week, rejoined the team Friday. He is slated to start Sunday.


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