With it too wet to pitch at the mound area known as "the strings" Sunday morning, Rick Honeycutt went into the Dodgertown shed to test his left shoulder. When he came out, after throwing for 10 minutes, Honeycutt said his shoulder felt "as good as it has all spring."
The plan now for Honeycutt, who was scratched from his first scheduled start last week after complaining of soreness, is to throw again Tuesday, pitch a simulated game Thursday, and, if all goes well, pitch batting practice or in a game this weekend. Honeycutt is attempting to recover from surgery on his shoulder last October.
By Sunday afternoon, the rains had cleared, giving the green-capped Dodgers the chance to beat the green-shirted Houston Astros, 6-5, in a St. Patrick's Day special, Holman Stadium style.
Jerry Reuss went five innings for the first time this spring, and would have coasted if not for Bill Russell's error on a potential double-play ball in Houston's four-run fifth.
Earlier, Russell had helped the Dodgers to a 6-0 lead with a two-run single and a triple. Reuss singled Russell home after the triple, giving him a team-high four RBIs. So far this spring, Dodger pitchers are batting .500 (5 for 10) with 7 RBIs.
Tom Brennan continued to make a strong bid to make the team as a long reliever, running his total of scoreless innings to 7 with two Sunday. With Bobby Castilo virtually assured of one long-relief spot, Brennan is competing with Carlos Diaz and rookie Larry White for the other. The edge may belong to White, who is out of options and cannot be sent back to the minors without clearing waivers. Brennan has signed a minor league contract with Albuquerque, while Diaz has options remaining.
Al Oliver extended his hitting streak to six games and has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats, a .471 clip. Steve Sax also is 8 for 17 in his last five games. . . . Catcher Steve Yeager, recovering from a fractured leg, is scheduled to make his first appearance behind the plate when the Dodgers play the Reds here Wednesday. . . . Mike Marshall missed Sunday's game with the Orel virus, and is not listed on the traveling squad for today's game with Montreal in West Palm Beach. Running coach Jim Bush also came down with the virus, that has spread through camp ever since Orel Hershiser came down with it 10 days ago. . . . Steve Howe is scheduled to pitch batting practice for the first time today. . . . Candy Maldonado, playing left field, cut down Phil Garner attempting to advance from first to third on Jose Cruz's hit. . . . Ken Howell got the save, striking out Dickie Thon to end the game.