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Perez Misses MRI Exam, Delaying Decision

Times Staff Writer

The rotation remained unclear Tuesday as the Dodgers rescheduled an MRI exam for injured starter Odalis Perez, delaying a decision on who would start the second game against the Angels in Anaheim this weekend.

Perez, suffering from biceps tendinitis, said he was unable to undergo Tuesday’s scheduled MRI exam on his pitching shoulder because of an adverse effect to anti-inflammatory medication. He began taking the medication after being pulled after five innings Saturday in the Angels’ 7-5 victory.

“Last night was like ... I don’t know. It hit my stomach hard,” Perez said. “This morning, I couldn’t get up. I felt dizzy. My stomach wasn’t feeling good. I was afraid to drive like that.”

The Dodgers now plan for Perez to be examined today, trying to determine whether the left-hander could start the opener of the teams’ final interleague series.

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Moreover, the Dodgers want to learn whether their most consistent starter might miss more than one start or need to go on the disabled list. Manager Jim Tracy continued to hope that Perez would remain in the rotation for his scheduled turn, but he acknowledged that scenario was unlikely considering Perez had experienced shoulder pain Sunday while playing catch.

After examining Perez on Tuesday, team physician Frank Jobe said he did not believe Perez would be sidelined long.

“I don’t think he has anything that’s going to be long term,” Jobe said. “He has good strength throughout. He has a little tenderness on his biceps tendon.”

If the MRI does not reveal any damage, Jobe said the Dodgers might give Perez a few more days’ rest before returning to the mound.

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If Perez cannot pitch Friday, Tracy said Kazuhisa Ishii would move up from Saturday to Friday, leaving a hole to fill Saturday. Perez might be able to take that spot, Jobe said.

Although Darren Dreifort made 113 starts from 1998-2003, Tracy said Dreifort is not a candidate to rejoin the rotation because lingering effects of off-season hip surgery limit the setup man to only one inning per appearance.

Left-hander Wilson Alvarez, who requested to be removed from the rotation, is available to make spot starts. But Alvarez has struggled out of the bullpen recently, giving up six hits and six earned runs in his previous four innings beginning play Tuesday.

And the Dodgers are not particularly excited about their options at triple-A Las Vegas. Edwin Jackson has struggled at times. He is 6-4 with a 5.29 earned-run average and 41 walks in 78 1/3 innings. Brian Falkenborg is 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA in five games (three starts) since returning to Las Vegas.

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Center fielder Milton Bradley sat out his sixth consecutive game while he continued to recover from right shoulder soreness.

With a left-hander starting for the Giants, the Dodgers did not want the switch-hitting Bradley to bat right-handed on his return to the lineup after completing a four-game suspension.

“He was still experiencing a little discomfort swinging the bat right-handed,” Tracy said. “We’re not going to take that chance.”

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Left fielder Dave Roberts sat out Tuesday because of inflammation in his left knee, Tracy said. Roberts is expected to return to the lineup tonight.


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