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Dodgers Fyi

Milton goes on DL; DeWitt returns

June 08, 2009|Jim Peltz

Starting pitcher Eric Milton was put on the 15-day disabled list because of tightness in the middle of his back, Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said Sunday.

Infielder Blake DeWitt was called up from triple-A Albuquerque to fill Milton's spot on the roster.

Milton (2-0) threw 4 1/3 innings Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up three runs -- two unearned -- and eight hits in a game the Dodgers ultimately won, 4-3.

The left-hander missed nearly two seasons after having an elbow-ligament replacement procedure (the so-called Tommy John surgery) in 2007, and he was called up by the Dodgers last month.

After hearing of Milton's back problem, Torre said, "We just shut him down because of his history with the surgery and stuff."

Asked who would replace Milton in the pitching rotation, Torre said, "That spot is not [an issue] for a while" because the Dodgers don't play in three of the next eight days, starting with a day off today. Torre said the Dodgers also have left-hander Eric Stults as a potential replacement for Milton if necessary. Stults is recovering from a thumb sprain on his pitching hand.

Stults "hopefully will take that little splint off tomorrow and be able to start throwing the ball Tuesday," Torre said.

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Wade's world

As the Dodgers were celebrating Andre Ethier's walk-off home run in the 12th inning that beat the Phillies on Saturday, Torre was praising his bullpen, especially Cory Wade.

The right-handed reliever kept the Dodgers in the game until Ethier could bat by shutting out the Phillies on no hits in the 11th and 12th innings.

Wade (1-3, 4.64 earned-run average) also earned his first win, and has given up only one run in 6 2/3 innings during his last five outings.

The Indianapolis native was a middle-relief workhorse for the Dodgers last season in his rookie year, in which he threw 71 1/3 innings in 55 games and had a 2.27 ERA.

Despite some rocky outings early this season, "I feel like I've gotten back to where I was last year," Wade said.

"I was a little ragged for a bit, but you know that's going to happen when you play a full season; you're always going to have ups and downs, peaks and valleys," he said.

Torre said he likes how Wade, 26, challenges hitters. "He's not afraid to throw the ball at the plate. . . . He can do that because for the most part he's able to locate," Torre said.

Wade said, "You can't start nibbling around because you'll start missing and all of a sudden you're behind in the count . . . and you're at the mercy of the hitter."

Wade said he hasn't felt added pressure lately because the Dodgers' have scored fewer runs.

"You can't let that get to you," he said.

"Whether we've got a 10-run lead or a one-run lead or the game is tied," his job is "just getting guys out as fast as you can to get the ball to [closer Jonathan] Broxton."

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Short hops

Broxton, meanwhile, has thrown 17 2/3 scoreless innings at home this season, with 30 strikeouts and only one walk. . . . After a day off today, the Dodgers play host to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Parking in Dodger Stadium's general lots will be free for the three-game series June 16-18 against the Oakland A's, with the normal $15 charge waived, the Dodgers said.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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