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Furcal, Kent not done yet

September 27, 2008|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Kent and Rafael Furcal are determined to make the Dodgers' postseason roster after rejoining the team this week and, as of Friday night, Manager Joe Torre concurred.

"My plan for [Kent] is to use him off the bench as a pinch-hitter," said Torre, who must trim the current roster to 25 for the playoffs. "This is all on the assumption that he's healthy enough to do it."

Kent, 40, was reactivated after undergoing surgery for torn cartilage in his left knee.

Torre had planned to start Pablo Ozuna at second base Friday night. But he started Kent after Kent asked to play, and the veteran delivered a two-run homer in the fourth inning of a game won in 10 innings by San Francisco, 6-5, after Russell Martin and James Loney had hit homers in the ninth.

"I'm still fighting it a little bit," Kent said of his knee. "The surgery was just a little over three weeks ago. I'm not a young man any more, I don't heal as quick as I used to."

But playing in the postseason, Kent said, "never gets old."

As for Furcal, a shortstop who had back surgery early this season, "my guess is he'll be on the roster," Torre said. Furcal, 27 also started Friday night's game.

But Torre added: "I want to make sure that he's comfortable with everything he's doing."

Furcal said the Giants series "is my spring training."

"I'm trying to earn a spot on the roster," he said. "Over the next couple of days I'll see what I can do."

Check again

The Dodgers had their first brush with baseball's new use of instant replay -- and lost -- in the sixth inning.

The Giants' Bengie Molina hit a ball off the right-field wall that initially went for a single. But San Francisco appealed, the umpires reviewed the replay and changed Molina's hit to a home run.

But Molina didn't get to cross home plate. Before the appeal, San Francisco sent in Emmanuel Burriss as a pinch runner for Molina, so Burriss trotted home and was credited with a run scored.

Show of affection

For the few thousand fans who stayed at Dodger Stadium after the final out Thursday night, it was a chance to celebrate the team's NL West Division title with several players who returned from the clubhouse to party on the field.

"[Bullpen coach] Kenny Howell is the one who said 'Why don't you guys go outside and see some of the fans?' " catcher Russell Martin said. "That was a great idea."

Said Howell of the fans: "It's their team, it's their town and hopefully it's our time."

Short hops

Hong-Chih Kuo won't pitch in the first round of the postseason because of lingering elbow problems. . . . Manny Ramirez, who started his 52nd consecutive game Friday, will take his first day off as a Dodger on Sunday. . . . Chad Billingsley, who will start in Game 2 of the NL division series, will pitch in relief today. . . . Ozuna will play in the outfield today in an audition for a spot on the playoff roster.


Times staff writer Dylan Hernandez contributed to this report.


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