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Jackson Likely to Start in Perez’s Place

Times Staff Writer

Odalis Perez felt no relief in his strained right oblique muscle Friday so the left-hander was scratched from his Monday start at Florida.

And while Manager Jim Tracy said he would announce his starter for the series finale today, he said the pitcher was “not in this house,” meaning the Dodgers would call up a minor leaguer for spot duty. It is expected to be right-hander Edwin Jackson, who pitched one inning Friday night for double-A Jacksonville at Mississippi.

The Dodgers will have to make a roster move to accommodate Jackson’s recall.

Jackson, who on his 20th birthday outdueled Randy Johnson on Sept. 9, 2003, has had trouble living up to his debut and has not pitched in the major leagues since last year’s season finale.

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He began this season with triple-A Las Vegas but was sent down to Jacksonville after going 3-7 with an 8.62 earned-run average in 12 appearances.

Last week, though, Jackson, a sixth-round selection in the 2001 draft, did not give up an earned run in 15 innings for Jacksonville, where he is 6-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts.

In 12 games with the Dodgers, eight starts, Jackson is 4-2 with a 5.01 ERA.

Tracy’s other option would have been long reliever Elmer Dessens, but he said he did not want to risk disrupting bullpen chemistry.

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“Because of the ... youth in it,” Tracy said. “I think you infringe ... on your bullpen if you do that.”

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Dodger catchers were a combined 25 for 134 (18.7%) in throwing out base stealers before Friday. So forgive Jason Phillips a bit for doing a pseudo-Sammy Sosa chest thump and kiss as he looked at the Dodger dugout when he nailed Juan Encarnacion at second in the fifth inning.

“They were jumping for joy over there,” said Phillips, who lost his everyday job behind the plate to minor league call-up Dioner Navarro. “I was trying to lighten it up.”

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Because pitching coach Jim Colborn’s left knee was swollen to the size of a “large cantaloupe” and he was using crutches, he was unable to make any mound visits.

“They’re just going to have to pitch good so I don’t have to go out there,” he said with a grin. “I’ll just tell them, ‘Go get ‘em,’ and ‘atta boy.’ ”

Colborn said he did not remember injuring himself but will have the knee examined by an orthopedic surgeon today.

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With temperatures expected to be in the 90s with high humidity throughout the series, Tracy said he would pay extra mind to his starting pitchers, especially during day games Sunday and Monday.

“Pitch counts and hydration become a factor,” Tracy said. “I’m kind of glad the big boy, [Brad] Penny, doesn’t have one of those day games -- he’s a sweater.”

Penny starts tonight.

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