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Valenzuela Is Working His Magic in Mexico

Times Staff Writer

It has been eight years since Fernando Valenzuela pitched in the major leagues and a quarter-century since his debut with the Dodgers, but the left-hander with the trademark screwball is still pitching -- and winning.

Valenzuela, 44, has given up one earned run in 10 innings in the Mexican League playoffs for Mexicali. He got the win in the game that sent Mexicali to the best-of-seven championship series against Mazatlan, giving up one unearned run in five innings of a 2-1 victory over Los Mochis.

Mexicali won the first game against Mazatlan on Saturday. Valenzuela is scheduled to start Game 3 on Tuesday. The winner advances to the Caribbean World Series, Feb. 1-6 in Mazatlan.

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The Dodgers did not schedule workouts at Dodger Stadium this off-season, saying players preferred to work out on their own. The public relations benefit of the workouts has been shifted to a community caravan of players, coaches and team officials.

The caravan begins today with stops at 32nd Street Magnet Elementary School, Cerritos College and West Anaheim Little League before finishing the day at Downtown Disney. Tom Lasorda, pitchers Eric Gagne and Odalis Perez, pitching coach Jim Colborn and Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin are expected to participate.

On Tuesday, Manager Jim Tracy, second baseman Jeff Kent and former first baseman Steve Garvey will take the tour to Irving Middle School, Cal Poly Pomona and the San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club before a dinner in Pasadena.

Two additional tours are scheduled Feb. 7-8. Milton Bradley, Jeff Weaver and Hee-Seop Choi are expected to participate.

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Dodger pitchers, catchers and players rehabilitating from injuries will report to spring training in Vero Beach, Fla., Feb. 18. The remainder of the team will report Feb. 23 and the first full-squad workout will take place the next day.

The 35-game Grapefruit League schedule begins March 2 against the Florida Marlins and ends March 31 against the New York Mets. The Dodgers meet the Angels in the Freeway Series April 1-3 and open the regular season Tuesday, April 5 against the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park in San Francisco.

Dodger spring training games can be heard on KFWB (980) and selected games will be broadcast in Spanish on KWKW (1330). The television schedule will be announced at a later date.

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