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Alvarez Will Return to Team

Times Staff Writer

Two days of soul-searching were enough for Wilson Alvarez to decide he wants to rejoin the Dodgers.

The 35-year-old left-hander is expected to arrive today from Los Angeles, where he threw in the bullpen Tuesday and was cleared by medical personnel. On Sunday, he told club officials he was contemplating retirement after giving up a game-winning home run to Jim Edmonds of St. Louis.

Alvarez, who is in the first year of a two-year, $4 million contract, has been on the disabled list twice this season because of shoulder pain. Although Alvarez is the only left-hander in the bullpen, he has not been effective against left-handed batters, who are hitting .327 against him. He is 1-4 with a 5.73 earned-run average in 18 games.

General Manager Paul DePodesta said Alvarez could make a strong contribution. Alvarez will meet with Manager Jim Tracy and pitching coach Jim Colborn today to discuss his role.

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“He is not any more limited than any of our other relievers in what he can do,” DePodesta said.

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Derek Lowe said his thumb blister is “100 times better” than four days ago when he gave up five runs in five innings of a loss to St. Louis. He will get an extra day of rest and is scheduled to start Friday in Pittsburgh.

Trainers covered the blister with a protective substance that kept him free from pain but hampered his ability to command his sinker.

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“I’ve had this problem in the past, but that was the first time I couldn’t feel the ball,” he said. “It affected the quality and consistency of my pitches.”

Lowe’s thumb touches a seam on the ball when he grips his sinker, causing the blister. He isn’t ready to experiment with a less painful grip.

“I’ll do that in spring training, not now,” he said.

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According to court records, outfielder Jayson Werth has dropped a suit against a man who sent allegedly libelous letters to people close to him because the man, Ryan Root, cannot be located.

Werth’s attorneys said in the court filing that they would re-file the suit if Root sends any more letters.

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Pitcher Scott Erickson cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to triple-A Las Vegas. The 37-year-old right-hander is scheduled to start today.... Tracy, several coaches and Dodger administrative personnel will tour the White House.... Charles Johnson, who retired as the parliamentarian of the House of Representatives in 2004, pitched batting practice.

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