Penny's start is delayed a day

Times Staff Writer

After Brad Penny experienced stiffness in his throwing arm during a between-starts bullpen session Friday, the Dodgers pushed back the right-hander's next start from today to Monday.

Derek Lowe will start for the Dodgers today in the Freeway Series finale at Angel Stadium on three days' rest. In three career starts on short rest, Lowe is 2-0 with a 3.00 earned-run average.

"When Lowe found out that Penny may not pitch [today], he came politicking for the start," Manager Joe Torre said. "It was easy to allow him to do that."

Torre said one additional day of rest should be adequate for Penny, who is 1-2 with a 10.34 ERA in three starts this month.

"We don't have any hesitation," Torre said. "In fact, he wanted to pitch [today] but we had already made the decision . . . so we just kept it that way and just moved it back a day."

Neither Penny nor Lowe was available for comment after Saturday's game.

The Dodgers scored an insurance run in the seventh inning of their 6-3 victory over the Angels on Saturday thanks to some heads-up baserunning by Juan Pierre.

With Russell Martin caught in a rundown between first and second base, Pierre inched his way down the third base line and then took off for home once first baseman Casey Kotchman threw to second baseman Maicer Izturis. Martin was eventually tagged out, but Pierre scored without a play.

"With a lefty first baseman, it's kind of hard for him to throw across [his body], but you try to wait for it to leave his hand and then you just break," Pierre said. "I just saw the ball leaving and took off."

In his second rehabilitation start for Class-A Inland Empire, Jason Schmidt pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings against Lake Elsinore. Schmidt, recovering from shoulder surgery, gave up one hit and one walk and struck out three. He made 34 pitches and his fastball was clocked at 86 to 90 mph.

As expected, Torre gave Jeff Kent, stuck in a two-for-33 rut, the day off and suggested the second baseman might be trying too hard to compensate for the shortcomings of his injury-plagued team.

"Right now, with all the stuff that's been going on and different people in and out of the lineup, to me he's taken a little more responsibility and he's maybe trying to be more than he should be," Torre said. "But when he's up there, I still look at him and know he's going to find a way to get a base hit to right field, knock in a run or do something that's going to make sense or help you win."

Torre said he was not disappointed that he would not be part of the All-Star game festivities at Yankee Stadium in the ballpark's final season. "The All-Star game is a great way to cap off a great building, but I think I'd be more of a distraction than a help to the manager for sure," said the former longtime Yankees manager, who was not selected as part of Colorado Manager Clint Hurdle's National League coaching staff.


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