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Astacio Is Happy to Win, but Unhappy to Beat Martinez

Pedro Astacio was heartbroken last August when the Dodgers traded him to the Colorado Rockies for second baseman Eric Young.

But Dodger pitcher Ramon Martinez, who had served as Astacio’s mentor, told the right-hander to take advantage of the opportunity.

Astacio did just that, going 5-1 with the Rockies and earning a four-year contract.

On Sunday, pitching against Martinez for the first time, Astacio looked nothing like the pitcher who came into the game with a 4-8 record and 6.86 earned-run average.

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He gave up one run, three hits and struck out six in nine innings in the Rockies’ 3-2, 12-inning victory.

“I pitched my game today,” Astacio said.

In the days leading up to Sunday’s game, Astacio, 28, and Martinez, 30, talked about the matchup. Martinez likened his mixed feeling to those he had when he faced his brother, Pedro, for the first time.

After Sunday’s game, Astacio said he shared Martinez’s sentiments.

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“Ramon’s my best friend,” said Astacio, who was 48-47 with the Dodgers. “I knew when I got traded that I might pitch against him.

“I watched Ramon [when Astacio was coming up through the minor leagues]. I learned a lot from him. I still do.”

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Outfielder Gary Sheffield was given the day off Sunday to rest his back.

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He was not available as a pinch-hitter, he said, because the Dodgers feared he would not have enough time to loosen up, risking further injury.

“With the day off today and another one tomorrow, I’ll hopefully be able to come back Tuesday,” said Sheffield, who is 32 for 91 (.352) with three homers, 13 RBIs, 14 runs and 19 walks since coming to the Dodgers in the May 15 seven-player trade that sent Mike Piazza to the Florida Marlins.

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Dodger infielder Tripp Cromer, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season after undergoing elbow surgery, will begin a rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Albuquerque today.

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Reliever Antonio Osuna had a career-high five strikeouts in three innings against the Rockies as five Dodger pitchers combined to tie a season high with 15 strikeouts.

The Dodgers also struck out 15 against the Chicago Cubs on April 26.

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As part of contest sponsored by a radio station and beer company, three fans were given the opportunity to win $1 million if they hit a ball thrown by a pitching machine over the outfield fence.

With former Dodger Kirk Gibson offering instruction, each contestant was given three swings. None were able to put the ball in play.

The sponsors then offered one bonus swing.

Only one contestant made contact, hitting a pop fly in foul territory near first base.

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Each contestant received $1,150.


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