The Dodgers, who found the Houston Astros about as menacing as an indoor parlor game in the Astrodome last weekend, continued their monopoly of the Astros Friday night in Dodger Stadium, winning, 7-2, in front of a crowd of 39,584.
The Dodgers, who outscored the Astros, 22-2, in a three-game sweep last weekend, showed no signs of letting up while moving into second place, a percentage point ahead of the Astros and 4 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers have beaten the Astros in eight of 10 games this season.
Orel Hershiser, who threw a three-hit shutout at Houston a week ago, ran his record to 7-1 with a yield of five hits and two runs, one earned, in seven innings before leaving with a tender elbow.
Hershiser also had two hits, raising his batting average to .214), higher than his earned-run average (2.10). His ERA is the third best in the league.
"That's not bad," Hershiser said. "That's a challenge right there.
"And as a pitcher, when the opposing pitcher gets involved in the offense, that's not the most exciting thing. A pitcher is usually an easy out, so when he gets involved in the offense, that's frustrating."
While Hershiser may have frustrated the Astros, Pedro Guerrero continued to bully them with three hits, including his 15th home run, just two homers behind league leader Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves.
The Astros had no better idea on how to get Guerrero out Friday night than they did a week ago at Houston, when he went 6 for 12 with four home runs and six runs batted in.
"He and Murphy are the ones that hurt us like that," Astro Manager Bob Lillis said. "I've never seen anyone put up numbers like that.
"You try to do anything you can, you try to put him on (walk him), but we haven't had the opportunity. We've always had to pitch to him."
Asked what he could do to cool off Guerrero, Lillis replied: "We've got Nolan Ryan."
Ryan is scheduled to pitch tonight for the Astros, against Fernando Valenzuela. But the way Guerrero is swinging the bat, it doesn't seem to matter to him who's pitching.
"I never think about who's pitching," he said. "I have respect for every pitcher in the league. I don't care if it's this guy throwing or that guy throwing."
Even if it's Ryan? someone said.
"I'm not talking about Ryan," Guerrero said. "I didn't mention his name. But there are some guys, when someone like a J.R. Richard or somebody is pitching, they want a day off. I'm not like that. I don't care who's pitching. I may go 0 for 4, but I might get a couple of hits, too."
When Guerrero split the flagpoles in center with a 400-foot drive off Houston reliever Bill Dawley to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead in the fifth, it marked the Dodgers' 12th home run in 10 games against the Astros. The number of Astro home runs against the Dodgers? Zero.
Guerrero's home run was his 11th in 16 games this month, just one away from Frank Howard's L.A. team record for one month. Howard hit 12 in July, 1962. The all-time Dodger record is 15 by Duke Snider in August, 1953.
Astro starter Mike Scott, a 9-0 loser to the Dodgers last Sunday, lasted only four innings Friday. Earlier this season, Scott was accused by Cubs Manager Jim Frey of using sandpaper to mark up the ball. According to Frey, Cub first baseman Leon Durham found a rolled-up piece of sandpaper near the mound when Scott was pitching.
No such accusations have come from the Dodgers. "He couldn't find a hardware store," an Astro official said jokingly.
The Dodgers' first run was unearned, coming in the first inning when center fielder Jerry Mumphrey's throw to third after Guerrero's single struck Ken Landreaux in the rump and caromed into the Dodger dugout.
The Dodgers made it 3-0 in the second on two walks, R.J. Reynolds' stolen base, Mike Scioscia's single and an infield out.
After the Astros closed to within a run on Bill Russell's throwing error in the fourth and Bill Doran's RBI single in the fifth, the Dodgers broke it open on Guerrero's home run and a three-run sixth, which Hershiser opened with a perfect bunt single.
In his previous at-bat, Hershiser had shown the bunt, then nearly drilled charging third baseman Phil Garner with a sharp single. Hershiser agreed that probably didn't endear him to Garner.
"I don't know if he's wearing dentures or not," Hershiser said.
Tom Niedenfuer finished for Hershiser, pitching two perfect innings.
With Mike Marshall in the hospital, the Dodgers activated Jay Johnstone, who apparently has made a miraculous recovery from a hip injury. Asked two days earlier when he'd return, Johnstone had answered: "I'll be ready the day after the strike." But now Johnstone is back for the first time since going on the disabled list April 23. . . . "Sometimes you have to put the team in front of your own injury, give a little of yourself," Johnstone said. "Tommy (Lasorda) called and said he needed me. I just hope I don't do anything stupid to reinjure it." . . . Johnstone pinch-hit in the seventh and struck out. . . . R.J. Reynolds started in Marshall's place in right. "He was playing good ball before he was hurt," Lasorda said. "It's not like we're going from filet to chopped liver. More like filet to sirloin." . . . Marshall, interviewed on KABC radio before the game, said he was still in pain after undergoing an appendectomy Thursday. "I went for a walk down the hallway and back," Marshall said. "It's hard to believe that I was running the bases just two days ago." The Dodgers estimate that Marshall will be hospitalized from five to nine days and won't be able to work out for three weeks. . . . Contrary to initial reports, a Dodger official said emergency room personnel at Centinela Hospital Medical Center correctly diagnosed Marshall's condition as appendicitis Wednesday night. Marshall had the surgery at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica the following morning. . . . In case you hadn't noticed, Al Oliver, the Opening Day left fielder, has all but disappeared. Asked what Oliver's role is now, Lasorda said: "We'll play him sometimes and use him as a premier pinch-hitter." . . . In the latest edition of The Sporting News, an article rating last winter's trades said the Dodgers' acquisition of Oliver from the Phillies for Pat Zachry was "the most useless deal" in baseball. Zachry has been let go by the Phillies. . . . Mike Scioscia and Steve Sax, along with batboys Ben Hwang and Jon Scott, attended a taping of the Channel 56 show "Hot Seat," hosted by Wally George. Scioscia and Sax were acknowledged on camera. The show can be seen tonight at 11.