At least hitting woes end
DETROIT -- Whether it was the pregame meeting called by hitting coach Mike Easler or the novice starter they faced that was responsible, the Dodgers were able to spend a rare day outside of offensive purgatory.
The Dodgers on Saturday ended a 24-inning scoreless streak, collecting 13 hits and scoring seven runs. The Dodgers were up, 4-1, heading into the bottom of the fourth, but Brad Penny gave up six runs in that inning to put the Dodgers on track to drop a 12-7 decision to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Scott Proctor gave up four runs (one earned) in two innings.
Andre Ethier was two for four with a home run, a double and four runs batted in. James Loney was three for five with two doubles and two runs, and Delwyn Young was three for four.
Easler said he asked Manager Joe Torre to call a meeting for the position players, mainly so he could remind the players to relax. Easler said that he asked Torre, special assignment coach Don Mattingly, Ethier and Russell Martin to speak.
“I know these guys are capable,” Easler said.
They certainly looked that way against Eddie Bonine, who picked up a win in his major league debut even though he gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Ethier said he thought the meeting was beneficial.
“It’s tough to have an identity if nobody’s stepping forward,” Ethier said. “Sometimes you need someone to point it out and show the way.”
When visiting his family members and friends in one of the suites at Comerica Park after his start Friday, Derek Lowe said he was urged by some of the people in his party to sign with the Tigers this winter.
Lowe, who grew up in nearby Dearborn and left 40 tickets for the group, said, “I don’t know if I want to leave 40 tickets every single game.”
But Lowe admitted to still being a Tigers fan, noting that he attended two games of the 2006 World Series.
“As a fan,” Lowe said. “Bought tickets and everything.”
But Lowe said he has little control of where he’ll play next season, whether it is with the Dodgers, Tigers or someone else.
“I think those things, they kind of play themselves out,” Lowe said. “A lot of times people think it’s up to the player, where you go, where you stay. It’s 100% management that makes decision -- they want you back, they don’t want you back, and if you become a free agent, teams have to want you to go there.”
Park on the mend
Chan Ho Park was unavailable to pitch over the last two days because of a pinch in his throwing shoulder. Torre said Park should be ready to pitch today.
Park reported feeling discomfort when throwing a slider on Thursday in San Diego. He threw in the bullpen Saturday but wasn’t completely free of pain.
Nomar Garciaparra started running sprints Friday. To begin his minor league rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, Garciaparra must first be cleared to play by team physician Neal ElAttrache. . . . Josh Bell of Class-A Inland Empire, a top third baseman prospect, will undergo season-ending knee surgery. . . . Martin will be the designated hitter today, Torre said.