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DODGERS FYI

Randy Wolf to miss next start

Sore elbow forces Dodgers' best pitcher out of his scheduled Friday start.

September 10, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

PHOENIX — The Dodgers will head into a crucial three-game series in San Francisco this week without their best pitcher, as Manager Joe Torre said that left-hander Randy Wolf won't make his scheduled start against the Giants on Friday because of irritation in his left elbow.

Wolf returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday night and received a cortisone injection from team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Torre said he was hopeful that Wolf would only miss one start and went as far to make light of the situation, pointing out how Giants ace Tim Lincecum is also expected to be sidelined for the series because of back problems.

"We didn't want the Giants to have anything on us," Torre said. "Lincecum's not going to pitch? We'll show you. Wolf's not going to pitch. What do you think of that?"

Wolf is the second starter to go down this week, as the Dodgers lost Clayton Kershaw for at least a turn in the rotation when he bruised his right shoulder crashing into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium while shagging balls on Sunday.

Wolf has won his last five starts and is tied for the major-league lead in starts with 30. According to trainer Stan Conte, Wolf said he was hurt while hitting two starts ago.

Wolf threw a bullpen session in Arizona on Tuesday but the discomfort in his elbow forced him to adjust his mechanics and Conte sent him home. He is expected to rejoin the Dodgers today in San Francisco.

Hiroki Kuroda, who was originally scheduled to start on Saturday, will pitch on Friday. Vicente Padilla will start on Saturday and Chad Billingsley will go on Sunday.

Broxton is buzzing

Jonathan Broxton said he isn't tired -- or if he is, he's too amped up to notice. "It's coming down to the crunch," Broxton said. "You get that extra adrenaline out there."

Broxton went into Wednesday having pitched seven times in the last 10 days. He earned six saves over that span, striking out 13 batters in 7 1/3 innings and posting a 0.00 earned-run average.

Broxton has converted his last eight save opportunities and hasn't given up an earned run or blown a save since Aug. 15 on the Dodgers' last trip to Arizona. "I think he performs better under these situations, where there's a little bit of pressure," catcher Russell Martin said. "You can see his energy level elevate."

Martin said the 300-pound closer looks like he's in better shape than he's been in past seasons. "Just the way he looks going back-to-back days or back-to-back-to-back days," Martin said. "It doesn't affect his control."

Chatting with Chad

Torre said he had a lengthy talk with Billingsley, who assured him that nothing was wrong with him physically. "Now, he just needs to go down and have a good outing," Torre said.

Billingsley is winless in his last four starts and is 0-3 with a 5.48 ERA over that span.

Torre reiterated his belief that Billingsley has been overly cautious in the way he has attacked hitters. Of how Billingsley relied heavily on his curveball in a four-run, six-inning performance on Tuesday, Torre said, "I think not throwing his fastball as often, that was more a product of trying to be too perfect."

Short hops

Casey Blake missed his fifth consecutive game because of a strained left hamstring. He isn't experiencing any discomfort when fielding groundballs but still has problems running. . . . Jim Thome received a cortisone injection in his sore heel. . . . Will Ohman, who remains on the 60-day disabled list because the Dodgers have been unable on the clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him, has joined triple-A Albuquerque for what is being called a rehabilitation assignment.

--

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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