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Dodgers Pick on New Padre and Win, 6-2

Times Staff Writer

The San Diego Padres rolled out their seventh third baseman in 2 1/2 months Friday night, and the Dodgers rolled him right back.

How rough was Randy Ready’s National League debut?

The Dodgers bunted his way three times, all for hits, all for runs, and once for a Ready throwing error in a 6-2 win before a crowd of 33,343 at Jack Murphy Stadium, where nearly everyone but Steve Garvey has taken a turn at third.

One of the Dodger bunters, Bill Madlock, also hit a three-run home run off Mark Thurmond, and Fernando Valenzuela gave up just six hits in his league-leading ninth complete game, which is two more than the entire Padre staff.

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The Dodgers, winners of six of their last eight games, all against Western Division teams, moved a game ahead of the Padres into fourth place, five games behind first-place Houston.

The Padres, who swept three straight from the Dodgers here in April, have lost 10 of their last 14.

“That’s how we’ve got to win,” said Madlock, whose two-out bunt in the third inning was followed by Mike Marshall’s RBI double, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

“We have to scratch for runs and pitch Fernando every other day.”

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Madlock said he was bunting on his own. So was Franklin Stubbs, and so also was Alex Trevino, who realized his longtime dream of catching for Valenzuela and thus forming what is believed to be the first all-Mexican battery in big league history.

“This is a good field to bunt on,” Stubbs said, “and if Doggie (Madlock) can lay one down, then I had to try one, especially against a lefty. They’re tough, man.”

Stubbs’ bunt followed Steve Sax’s fifth-inning single and preceded Madlock’s home run over the right-center-field fence that finished off Thurmond, who gave up eight hits and all six runs in his five innings.

Trevino’s bunt came in the second, after an infield hit by Marshall. Thurmond went 0-and-2 on the next batter, Greg Brock, then lost him on a walk that loaded the bases. Reggie Williams followed by grounding a single to right field for two runs, a lead that Garry Templeton halved with his first home run of the season in the bottom of the inning.

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“I’ve never bunted that much in my life,” said Trevino, who has tried bunting once before for a hit this season but was thrown out. He also has two sacrifices.

“He (Thurmond) throws a lot of off-speed stuff, and it’s good to let him know once in awhile that we can bunt. I think I can run well enough.”

Ready, just acquired in a trade with Milwaukee for a player to be named later, arrived here on Friday.

Padre Manager Steve Boros said he didn’t know how much third base Ready had played this season, but he wrote Ready’s name into the lineup at the same position that already has been occupied by Graig Nettles, Tim Flannery, Dane Iorg, Jerry Royster, Mark Wasinger and Carmelo Martinez.

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“I don’t know if they were testing the new guy or what, it’s hard to say,” said Ready, who had no chance on any of the bunts and threw Stubbs’ bunt to the tarpaulin behind first base.

“In those situations, there were two out, and I figured Madlock would be trying to hit the ball into the gap for a double. I didn’t anticipate Stubbs, either; he’s a good power hitter--and the fifth inning, that’s still early. But it’s a game of adjustments.”

Stubbs dismissed the notion that the Dodgers were picking on Ready.

“I played against him in the minors, and he’s a good third baseman,” Stubbs said.

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Madlock said the conditions were ideal for laying one down.

“The grass here is just like our ballpark,” he said. “The infield was just a little bit wet, and the ball dies on a bunt.”

Boros conceded that the bunts were death to the Padres, who had a chance to fashion a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning after three hits had brought home one run and left runners on first and third with no outs. But Steve Garvey was thrown out at second by Trevino on a botched run-and-hit, and Carmelo Martinez and Templeton struck out to end the inning.

Valenzuela allowed just two singles thereafter, retired the last 10 in a row and finished with seven strikeouts, giving him 103 for the season and putting him second only to Houston’s Mike Scott, who has 122.

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“The bunts were big plays; they got things started for them,” Boros said. “And they were good bunts, which are hard to get down. We tried a couple, and didn’t get them down.”

While the Padres made two errors, putting them on a Dodger-like pace of 29 in their last 16 games, the Dodgers made none. They also had another all-out diving catch by Williams in center field, robbing Thurmond of extra bases in the third.

“That guy can play,” left fielder Stubbs said. “It’s fun when he’s out there. I told him, ‘I’ll back you up,’ because you know if he can get to it, he’s going to catch it.”

The win was just the Dodgers’ eighth in 27 games on the road.

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“There are three types of players,” Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said. “No. 1 is the guy who makes it happen, No. 2 is the guy who watches it happen, and No. 3 is the guy who wonders what happened. We made it happen tonight.”

Boros said: “I know I’ve complained about our lack of hitting, but tonight it was just too much Valenzuela.”

Dodger Notes Pedro Guerrero took regular batting practice for the first time since he ruptured his left patellar tendon 10 weeks ago. He also took early batting practice with Reggie Williams and Franklin Stubbs and hit several balls over the fence. He wasn’t wearing his brace during regular hitting practice. “If there was any risk, we wouldn’t have him out there,” said physical therapist Pat Screnar, who is supervising Guerrero’s rehabilitation. “Pete wanted to hit, and Dr. (Frank) Jobe gave him the OK. He still can’t run yet, but we knew all along that he’d be able to hit before he could run.” Guerrero also started riding a stationary bicycle Friday, and as his strength increases, he will get the go-ahead to start jogging. The Dodgers still project early August for Guerrero’s return. . . . To make room for Randy Ready on the roster, the Padres sent down rookie John Kruk, who was batting .279 with 1 homer and 7 RBIs in 39 games. . . . Padre General Manager Jack McKeon, on reports that he is trying to swing a major deal: “I don’t think I’ll pull anything off today. If I were going to pull off a big deal, why would I be watching (batting practice)? I’m not close to anything, let’s put it that way.” . . . Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia, his sprained right ankle still swollen, did not take batting practice but thought he could be used in an emergency. . . . Ken Landreaux, who sat out Wednesday night’s game with a strained knee, was available to play.


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