Dodgers Take Two Losses: Game, Then Strawberry : Baseball: Back puts outfielder on 15-day disabled list. Astros rock Candiotti in 9-1 victory.


Even before the Dodgers lost, 9-1, to the Houston Astros Friday night, gloom had infiltrated the Dodger dugout at the Astrodome. Darryl Strawberry looked calm as he sat on the bench before the game, waiting to meet with Executive Vice President Fred Claire about going on the disabled list.

“Let’s get this thing over with,” Strawberry told Pat Screnar, the team’s physical therapist.

After dropping to 14-20, the club announced that Strawberry is going on the 15-day disabled list to concentrate on rehabilitating his back. But 15 days is unlikely. Strawberry says he will be out as long as it takes to heal, even if it takes the entire season.


“I don’t want to think that way, but if (the entire season) is what it takes, then that’s what it takes,” Strawberry said. “I have to do what I have to do to get well. It may be a month, or it may be sooner, but I don’t think it will be that soon.

“I’m not going to rush myself to come back. I want to get healthy the right way so I can play baseball like I was before. I don’t know how long it is going to take, but I need to start from here.”

Strawberry, who has played in 25 of the team’s 34 games and is batting .141 with four home runs, has struggled with back stiffness since shortly after the season started. He had back surgery in September and felt fine during spring training, but his back flared up once he began playing on artificial turf, in cold weather and after long plane flights.

He started thinking about the disabled list on Wednesday, when he came out of a game at Wrigley Field after the third inning because the wind stiffened his back.

“That is not my style of play to come out of a game,” he said. “If things have to be like that, I would rather not play baseball anymore.”

Triple-A outfielder Henry Rodriguez will take Strawberry’s place on the roster today.

The team also was without Eric Davis, who was benched by Manager Tom Lasorda. There has been strong speculation that Davis, who is batting .216 and is two for 24 (.083) in May, will be released. But Claire told Davis on Friday night that he is not ready to give up on him.


“He is going to have me work with (minor league) batting instructor Reggie Smith when we get back to Los Angeles,” Davis said. “I have spoken to Reggie periodically all season, and I called him from San Francisco (last weekend).

“People here are trying to get me to change my hitting approach, and I can’t do that.”

Smith worked with Davis during spring training and again during the Pittsburgh series in Los Angeles, when Davis temporarily broke out of his slump.

So with the Dodgers without Strawberry, Davis or Mike Piazza, who sat out the game with a pulled hamstring, Tom Candiotti (1-4) and Astro starter Pete Harnisch (4-1) squared off and produced a scoreless game through four innings.

But in the fifth inning, it was all over for the Dodgers.

The Astros rapped out seven consecutive hits and scored seven runs, knocking out Candiotti midway through the rally and left-handed reliever Steve Wilson near the end. Ten batters later, Rick Trlicek got Andujar Cedeno to ground into a double play to end the inning.

To add insult to injury, Omar Daal relieved Trlicek and gave up a two-run homer to Scott Servais in the eighth inning, making the score 9-1.

The Dodgers got only five hits and scored on an error.

Want to talk gloom? For the Dodgers, it’s more like doom.