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Perez May Be Out for Year

Times Staff Writer

Left-hander Odalis Perez, sidelined with a strained muscle in his right rib cage, is not sure if he will pitch again for the Dodgers this season.

“I don’t know,” said Perez, who was placed on the disabled list Aug. 22, retroactive to Aug. 18. “It feels better but sometimes there’s a shooting pain in there.”

Perez, 28, was on the DL from May 15 to July 19 with a sore left shoulder. The starting pitcher, who signed a three-year, $24-million contract Jan. 4, is 7-7 with a 4.73 earned-run average. He had a 4.00 career ERA entering the season.

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As expected, the Dodgers on Sunday put shortstop Cesar Izturis on the DL with a sprained lower back, retroactive to Tuesday. Izturis is two for his last 24, his season average slipping to .257 from .345 on June 1.

Infielder Willy Aybar was recalled from triple-A Las Vegas.

“His bat has been very interesting the past couple of springs,” Manager Jim Tracy said of Aybar. “He has always shown himself very well in the time I have seen him.”

Aybar, 22, who has yet to play in a major league game and is the 10th rookie on the Dodger roster, said: “It’s a grand opportunity for me and when I get the chance, I want to help.”

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In 108 games with Las Vegas, Aybar was batting .297 with five home runs and 60 runs batted in. He made 78 appearances at third base and 28 at second, making 10 errors.

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With an off-day Thursday between series at Chicago and Colorado, Tracy is unsure if right-hander Edwin Jackson will start against the Rockies on Friday.

“I’m going to think about that on the airplane,” Tracy said. “I want to look at it and see how it takes [the rotation] into September.”

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Jackson pitched 5 1/3 innings Saturday night and defeated Houston.

The 21-year-old rookie, who is African American, took pride in wearing the Brooklyn jersey Sunday, when the organization paid tribute to the 1955 Dodgers, a World Series championship team with such pioneers as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe. It also was the 60th anniversary of the day Branch Rickey told Robinson he would be the first black player in the major leagues.

“Everyone who starts and leads the path for others, it’s great,” Jackson said. “They paved the way and overcame the struggles for us to play today.”

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Jose Cruz Jr. has played professional baseball in front of his father “a handful of times,” he said. That’s why the series against the Astros meant a little something extra -- Jose Cruz Sr. is Houston’s first-base coach.

“As a father, I know what it’s like to watch my kids,” said Cruz Jr., a dad to two boys and a girl, ages 7, 6 and 3. “I can only imagine what it’s like to watch your kid at this stage.”

Cruz Jr. was three for seven with three RBIs in the series.

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Jayson Werth batted leadoff for the first time in his career and was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


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