Dodgers Salvage Split With Padres : After San Diego Slams Door in Opener, L.A. Rallies to Win in 10th

Times Staff Writer

Among the tasks on the Dodgers’ things-to-do list during this busy time of the season are voting to divide playoff money, which they will do tonight, ordering crates of champagne and getting in those playoff ticket requests.

Yes, they also have to get around to officially clinching the National League West division title. Though it appears only a matter of time until that title is secured, the Dodgers turned procrastinators Wednesday night in losing, 9-3, in the first game of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres.

Then, in the second game, the Dodgers took their time in avoiding a sweep. But in the bottom of the 10th inning, rookie Mike Devereaux’s single off Mark Davis scored Jeff Hamilton to give the Dodgers a 6-5 win before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 31,120.


The Dodgers had come back from a 5-1 deficit after 6 innings to tie it, 5-5, with a 4-run seventh, culminated by Mike Marshall’s 2-run home run off Padre reliever Lance McCullers.

Against Davis, the Padres’ ace reliever, the Dodgers put runners on first and second when Padre first baseman Carmelo Martinez was pulled off the bag by errant throws on consecutive plays.

Devereaux, who had only 32 at-bats before the second game, lined a one-out single in the hole between shortstop and third base.

Dodger reliever Jay Howell, who struck out the side in the top of the 10th, earned the victory to improve his record to 5-3.

The tying rally was set up by singles by Mike Scioscia and Alfredo Griffin. Steve Sax’s single then drove in Scioscia, and Griffin later scored on Kirk Gibson’s ground-out to make it 5-3. Up stepped Marshall, who had not homered since Aug. 19 against the Montreal Expos. He showed signs of regaining power, hitting a line drive on a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence.

Before the late rally, the Dodgers hardly resembled the team that had won 9 of the previous 10 games behind outstanding pitching. But then, it is not unusual against the Padres, who had won 8 of 13 from the Dodgers going into the second game.


If the Dodgers win tonight and the Cincinnati Reds lose, Los Angeles could clinch a tie for the Western division title. “We don’t want to get into that mode where we’re just going to phone in these games,” said second baseman Steve Sax, after the Dodgers lost Game 1 and learned that second-place Cincinnati had beaten the San Francisco Giants. “We can’t say, ‘Well, our magic number is 4, so we can go through the motions. We can’t get in that type of situation.”

After the split, the Dodgers lead the Reds by 9 games with 11 to play. A comfort zone seemingly does exist, but the early frustration Wednesday reached such a stage in the second game that Gibson threw his helmet, meant for the dugout, into the stands after striking out in the fifth inning.

In the first game, rookie pitcher Ramon Martinez could not finish the second inning, and reliever Ricky Horton gave up a grand slam to Padre catcher Benito Santiago to highlight a 7-run second inning. Padre left-hander Dennis Rasmussen maintained a 9-0 lead until fading in the late innings, but still held on for his fifth complete game.

The second game did not begin much better for the Dodgers. This time, at least, the Padres waited until the third inning to strike

The Dodgers knew that, impressive as it was, the 30-inning scoreless streak by their pitchers eventually had to end. But they most likely didn’t figure on such an abrupt halt and, as it turned out, such a startling reversal.

Martinez, who had not started since Sept. 9 and had not pitched at all since Sept. 13, showed the negative effects of inactivity by giving up 2 runs in the first inning while struggling with his control.

Walking 3 of the first 4 batters he faced, Martinez then gave up a single to left on a 3-2 pitch to Kruk, scoring Alomar and breaking the Dodger pitchers’ streak.

After Kruk’s single, preceded by pitching coach Ron Perranoski’s visit to the mound, Martinez recovered. The Padres scored a second run on Santiago’s grounder that the Dodgers could not convert into a double play.

The Padres loaded the bases again in the second inning but, this time, it was not all Martinez’s doing. At least, not at the start.

Templeton opened with a single to right, then the Dodger defense began to unravel. Rasmussen laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate, but catcher Rick Dempsey’s accurate throw to second base to force Templeton was dropped by shortstop Dave Anderson. Alomar then laid a bunt down the third base line, but Martinez’s throw to first base was late, loading the bases.

Tim Flannery ran the count to 3-2 before Martinez threw an outside fastball to walk in a run.

Perranoski emerged from the clubhouse, and Martinez soon exited.

Enter Horton and the onset of a Padre rout.

Horton threw 3 straight balls to Tony Gwynn before giving up a single to center that scored 2 runs for a 5-0 lead. After Keith Moreland walked to load the bases, Kruk grounded back to Horton, who almost threw away the toss to Dempsey at home plate for the force out.

That might have been a harbinger of worse times for Horton. On Horton’s next pitch, Santiago belted the grand slam over the 370-foot sign in left field for a 9-0 Padre lead.

Because strong Dodger starting pitching had rendered the bullpen unneeded in recent starts, Horton and other relievers might have been stale. That’s a theory Horton dismissed.

“The fact we’ve been getting complete-game shutouts is fantastic,” Horton said. “But a bullpen pitcher’s responsibility is to be ready.”

After Horton’s departure, a semblance of order among Dodger pitchers was restored when relievers Brian Holton, Tim Crews and Ken Howell combined to pitch 7 scoreless innings.

Meanwhile, though, Rasmussen easily dismissed Dodger hitters until the late innings. Coming off a 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves in his last start, Rasmussen (15-9) handled Dodgers much easier than the last-place Braves.

He was nursing a shutout until the eighth inning, when Anderson’s single drove in Tracy Woodson. Then, in the ninth, a tiring Rasmussen allowed a 2-run home run to Hamilton, his sixth. But Rasmussen endured to record his fifth complete game with the 8-hitter.

Coincidentally or not, the Padres jumped on the Dodgers in the first game shortly after Manager Jack McKeon held only his second team meeting since taking over the club May 28. This one was in response to the Padres slump--7 losses in the last 8 games--and McKeon reportedly made some harsh evaluations.

“He told the guys that, in 12 days, you can do your own thing,” Flannery said. “But right now . . . you’re getting paid for 162.”

The Dodgers, barring a monumental collapse in the final two weeks, figure to be paid for more than 162 games. The only question is when they will make their post-season appearance official.

Dodger Notes

Jeff Hamilton arrived at Dodger Stadium Wednesday with a stiff neck, apparently the result of sleeping in an awkward position. Hamilton received treatment and was in the first-game lineup. . . . Kirk Gibson was not in the first-game lineup, but assistant trainer Charlie Strasser said his absence was not caused by an injury and Gibson started in the second game.

Dodger players will meet before tonight’s game to vote on dividing playoff shares. Twenty-one players, plus Manager Tom Lasorda are assured of full shares. Players will vote to determine how great a share players such as Pedro Guerrero, injured then traded; Fernando Valenzuela, injured for almost half the season, and recently acquired John Tudor and released Don Sutton will be given.

Alcohol was banned from the Dodger clubhouse earlier this season, but Dave Anderson, the Dodgers’ player representative, said that club officials have agreed to allow champagne and other alcoholic beverages in the clubhouse for special celebrations, such as the night the Dodgers clinch the National League West title. “It was no big deal,” Anderson said. “We hope we get to do it three times.”

Most Dodger players reacted with shock to the news that New York Mets left-hander Bob Ojeda had severely cut his left index finger while trimming shrubbery at his home.

Mostly, players were surprised that Ojeda would be doing potentially hazardous yard work during the season. “My wife won’t even let me unscrew the lids of cans during the season, because I might slice my finger,” Dodger reliever Brian Holton said. Added Dodger first baseman Franklin Stubbs: “I won’t even clean my house during the season. There’s too much money at stake. I mean, can’t he hire somebody to do that?” . . . The Dodgers have yet to schedule another date for Valenzuela to test his left shoulder against live hitting in batting practice.