PHOENIX -- Russell Martin hasn't seen Pablo Ozuna hit or field a baseball, but he knows this of his newest teammate: He can run.
Ozuna, a 34-year-old utilityman who was released by the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday and signed by the Dodgers four days later, was used as a pinch-runner on Sunday and made an immediate impact, scoring from first on a ninth-inning double by Matt Kemp to tie the score and set the stage for a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"He might be one of the only guys on the team who could get there from first base," Martin said.
Infielder Luis Maza was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the roster for Ozuna, who can play every infield position and will be paid a prorated share of the major league minimum. Ozuna is the second infielder acquired by the Dodgers at a bargain price, the first being Angel Berroa, who was picked up in June from the Kansas City Royals for Class-A infielder Juan Rivera. Berroa, whose salary is being paid by the Royals, is batting 192.
Ozuna has batted .285 over a seven-year major league career that has included stops in Florida and Colorado. He was hitting .281 in 64 at-bats when the White Sox designated him for assignment on July 8 and ended his four-year run with the club.
Between then and now, Ozuna spent most of his time in his native Dominican Republic visiting his mother, who is recovering from a heart operation she underwent a few weeks ago. He said that he grew up 15 minutes from the Dodgers' Dominican player development facility and that he tried out for the Dodgers when he was 17 years old. He was never offered a contract.
Ozuna said he had another major league offer, but that the boy in him was drawn to the Dodgers.
"This was the team I wanted to play for growing up," he said.
Big day for Troncoso
Ramon Troncoso, who entered the game Sunday with a 4.91 earned-run average over two stints in the majors this season, pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the first victory of his career. Troncoso said he received the game ball from interim closer Jonathan Broxton.
"It was very emotional," said Troncoso, who had a 9.53 ERA when he was sent to the minors in April.
"I never thought I would get my first win in a game like this, where we'd come back from so many runs down and get back into a tie for first place."
Big day, Part II
Still adjusting to being a part-time player, third baseman Andy LaRoche said his ninth-inning pinch-hit single to drive in James Loney and get the Dodgers to within 4-3 renewed his confidence to fulfill his role.
"I feel like my approach is getting a little better," LaRoche said.
LaRoche said he went into the batting cages to hit off the tee, something he started doing last homestand when he saw reserve outfielder Delwyn Young do it.
LaRoche said he's also benefited from conversations he's had with pinch-hitting specialist Mark Sweeney.
With the non-waiver trade deadline 10 days away, General Manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers could enter the market for a third baseman if they're unable to land a shortstop.
The Dodgers don't appear to be interested in Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby or Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre.