Rainout comes at right time for Martin

Times Staff Writer

Russell Martin was able to rest his sore back Friday and do so without sitting out a game.

Heavy rains that temporarily flooded the Colorado Rockies’ dugout caused the Dodgers’ game at Coors Field to be postponed. The game will be made up when the Dodgers visit the Rockies again in September, possibly on the 17th, the day preceding the originally scheduled three-game series. Neither team has a game scheduled that day.

Rain or shine, Martin was supposed to get the day off, in part because of stiffness he has been experiencing in his lower back.


“I’ve been kind of grinding it out the last couple of days,” Martin said. “Normally, I don’t like days off at all, but I’m going to cherish this one.”

Martin will be back in the lineup today but rest again Monday, when the Dodgers are off.

Martin is batting only .146 (six for 41) with no home runs since July 16. He said he has also felt slower behind the plate.

Of the rest Martin will get, Manager Grady Little said, “Maybe it’ll do something to help him get back refreshed.”


Results of an MRI exam supported pitcher Derek Lowe’s feeling that nothing was wrong with his strained left groin. That same test revealed that Lowe has a slightly irritated left hip.

The part about the irritated hip surprised Lowe, who said he feels no such thing.

Lowe didn’t experience any pain in his groin while throwing on flat ground Friday and plans to throw today off a mound.

“Everyone knows their body,” Lowe said. “Waking up the next day and being able to walk around and do functional stuff, I knew there wasn’t going to be much damage.”

But Lowe wasn’t ready to declare himself fit to make his next start.

“Any time you’re dealing with the groin area, you have to throw off the mound,” Lowe said. “You have to put that pounding on your leg to see how it reacts.”

Lowe was mindful of how he got himself in this predicament.

“I’ve known all along that I’m stiff as a board as far as flexibility goes,” Lowe said. “I need to do more stretching to loosen everything up.”


The postponement of Friday’s game caused a slight shift in the rotation.

Brett Tomko, who was supposed to start Friday, will pitch tonight. Chad Billingsley will have his start moved back a day to Sunday, and Mark Hendrickson’s turn in the rotation will probably be skipped.

The Rockies will send Jeff Francis to the mound today and Ubaldo Jimenez on Sunday. Josh Fogg, who was scheduled to pitch Friday, will be skipped in the rotation.

Little said he was unsure who would start Tuesday and Wednesday at home against the San Francisco Giants. Those decisions will be made based on how Brad Penny and Lowe feel today while throwing on the side.

Penny still had some soreness resulting from the abdominal cramp that cut short his start Thursday night, but Little expects him to make his next start.


Little said Olmedo Saenz will get a rare start at first base tonight, explaining that he needed at-bats. Saenz hasn’t started since June 23 and is 1 for 13 since.... Luis Gonzalez will get the day off, leaving Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to play the corner outfield positions.... A decision on whether to send Randy Wolf for a second rehabilitation start hasn’t been made yet.