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Returning from surgery, L.A. Dodgers' Vicente Padilla is perfect in relief against Cubs

DODGERS FYI

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla hasn't been primarily a relief pitcher since 2001, so in his 2011 debut, he wasn't sure what to expect. But he retired the Chicago Cubs' sixth with 12 pitches Saturday.

April 23, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla delivering a pitch in a game last season.
Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla delivering a pitch in a game last… (Gene J. Puskar / Associated…)

Reporting from Chicago

Vicente Padilla said he didn't know what to expect.

The game he pitched on Saturday was his first of the season. The relief appearance was his second of the last 10 seasons.

On the two-month anniversary of an operation that freed a nerve that was entrapped in one of the deep muscles of his forearm, Padilla pitched a perfect sixth inning in the Dodgers' 10-8 defeat to the Chicago Cubs.

The previous day, he said he was uncertain how long it would take for him to warm up in the bullpen.

"Before, I used to be able to get ready fast," he said. "Now, I don't know."

That's because the last time he was primarily a reliever was as a 23-year-old with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001. Padilla was the Dodgers' opening day starter last season.

He said he threw around 25 pitches in the bullpen.

"Some days, when my body feels better, I'm sure I won't need as many," he said. "But 20, 25 pitches should be fine."

Even though Padilla threw only 12 pitches in retiring Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd, Manager Don Mattingly said he didn't consider sending him back out for the seventh inning. His fastball touched 95 mph, according to mlb.com's Gameday.

"Not today," Mattingly said. "I had to look at the whole picture. I can't do that to him the first time out."

Mattingly said he would also refrain from using Padilla on consecutive days initially.

Uribe sits

Juan Uribe was forced to the bench on Saturday because of tightness in his left thigh.

The injury hit Uribe just as he was starting to find his rhythm at the plate. A notoriously streaky hitter, Uribe was 10 for his last 23 with two home runs.

Mattingly said Uribe was listed as day-to-day and could return to the lineup for the Dodgers' series finale in Chicago on Sunday.

But Uribe sounded less optimistic.

"I don't know," he said with a sigh. "I'll try."

Aaron Miles started at second base in Uribe's absence.

Short hops

General Manager Ned Colletti said he didn't have any more information about how the commissioner's office's takeover of the Dodgers would work.... Dioner Navarro, who is on a rehabilitation assignment with double-A Chattanooga, could be activated when the Dodgers are in Miami to face the Florida Marlins next week.... Hong-Chih Kuo is nearing a return. Kuo, who was placed on the disabled list on April 16 with a lower back strain, will pitch for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday and Tuesday.... Turns out catcher Hector Gimenez was actually hurt. Gimenez, who was placed on the disabled list when the Dodgers had to open up a roster spot on April 10, will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on April 10. Though the Dodgers don't have a timetable for his return, Mattingly said he thinks Gimenez will play again this season.

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