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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Practice Hasn’t Quite Made Perfect

If Ramon Martinez could pitch in a game the way he throws in practice, he probably wouldn’t have an 0-2 record with a 5.23 earned-run average.

“When he threw on the side before his last couple of starts, it was really unbelievable,” pitching coach Ron Perranoski said. “The movement on his fastball and his location was great and he had his curveball and changeup working. Then he shows up for an inning or two in the game and has a bad inning, like in New York, and before you know it. . . . “

Martinez has given up 10 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings during his last two starts. Perranoski said that in spring training, they were able to pinpoint problems by looking at films. By the time camp broke, Perranoski said he believed Martinez was on his game.

“We’ve just got to weather the storm,” Perranoski said.

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With his payroll at a low $18.8 million, Expo General Manager Kevin Malone said he has been told by management that he doesn’t need to make any trades to cut costs further.

“There is interest (by other clubs) in (Marquis) Grissom and (Larry) Walker, Mel Rojas and a lot of our players,” Malone said. “Rojas is leading the league in saves, yet John Wetteland is one of the premier closers in the game, so I like having two guys in the bullpen who can close.”

Malone said Grissom and Walker are not available, but the club has a top outfield prospect, Rondell White, at triple A, waiting for a spot to open.

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“We’ve got Rondell White if we did do something with one of our outfielders,” Malone said. “If somebody made us an offer I can’t refuse, well . . . But it would come with a price tag for a high-quality player.”

With Wetteland activated after Tuesday’s game, Rojas will move back to a setup role. Rodney Henderson, who started Tuesday’s game, was scheduled to be sent back to triple A.

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Seventeen of the Dodgers’ 26 games have been decided by two runs or fewer and in those games, the Dodgers have a 7-10 record. . . . Raul Mondesi, who did not play Monday because of a bruised heel, started in right field Tuesday. . . . Brett Butler left the game after the fifth inning because of a sore back.

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