LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre had been using Jonathan Broxton in save situations on nights when Hong-Chih Kuo was unavailable, and Torre said as recently as Saturday afternoon that Broxton would close when the matchups called for it.No longer. "I think we have to just put him in situations not in the ninth inning, I mean a save situation in the ninth inning," Torre said. "And just try to get some appearances under his belt. Wherever we go, whether we're going to get to the postseason or not, I think this is very important: that he finishes this season with a good taste in his mouth." Broxton met with Torre, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen coach Ken Howell on Sunday after Broxton let up a two-run homer to the Giants' Juan Uribe in the ninth inning on Saturday for his sixth blown save in 28 opportunities. The Dodgers dropped a crucial game, 5-4. Torre said he did not again ask Broxton if he was healthy, something he has done multiple times. "If he is less than 100 percent, I think I would have had some kind of hint from our trainers or something," Torre said. "Unless he's just not getting taken care of, which would be hard to believe, knowing him." Torre mentioned Broxton's velocity as an indication that he isn't hurt, but that might not be the best evidence. According to fangraphs.com, Broxton is averaging 95.3 mph on his fastball this season. That's down from 97.5 last season. With Kuo unavailable on Sunday, rookie Kenley Jansen would likely close.
Reinforcements coming from Albuquerque
LOS ANGELES -- Five players from Triple-A Albuquerque will join the Dodgers in San Diego on Monday, including one-time fifth starter John Ely and a 15-year Minor League veteran, first baseman John Lindsey.Also in the Majors for the first time is corner infielder Russell Mitchell, while right-hander Jon Link and shortstop Chin-lung Hu rejoin the team. Lindsey hit .356 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs to become the Pacific Coast League batting champion at 33 years old. His slugging percentage was a league-high .663, and his 41 doubles was one shy of the league lead. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Lindsey was drafted by the Rockies in 1995 and after a decade and a half on the farm, he at last has a shot at the Majors. "Well earned, well deserved," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, who broke the news to Lindsey on a conference call with him and Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach. "He's worked hard to make his dream a reality." Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Lindsey would be used as a pinch-hitter. "It's a good story," Torre said. "He's a strong young man. He's not the best defensive first baseman but the son of a gun works like crazy and tries hard. And he is a threat, there's no question, from the right side of the plate." Mitchell, 25, hit .315 with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs and can play third base as well as first. Hu, 26, made his Dodgers debut in 2007 and hit .317 in an injury-shortened, 58-game season for Albuquerque. He played in two games for the Dodgers this season. Ely, 24, made 14 starts for the Dodgers early this season before he was optioned back to Albuquerque, where he's since struggled to a 6.22 ERA in 13 starts. He'll work out of the bullpen. "For a time there, when I was asked, he wasn't on the list," Torre said. "But evidently they changed their mind." Link, a 26-year-old who made six appearances for the Dodgers this season, has a 3.71 ERA in 45 appearances (one start) for Albuquerque. With A.J. Ellis already on the big league team, Los Angeles' callups total will reach six, which is more than was expected. The Isotopes entered the weekend in the playoff hunt but were eliminated on Saturday in a 6-2 loss to Round Rock, freeing up their roster. Albuquerque's regular season ends on Monday. Corresponding moves to make room on the 40-man roster, which Mitchell and Lindsey are not a part of, are to be made on Monday.
Lilly miffed with homers allowed
LOS ANGELES -- Ted Lilly left upset on Saturday night after an otherwise brilliant start was marred by a pair of late solo home runs in an eventual 5-4 Dodgers loss.While it might not be reasonable to miffed over a seven-inning, three-hit, two-run performance, Lilly was. He didn't wait around for reporters, who did gather near his locker but not to speak to him, at least not right away. They first sought closer Jonathan Broxton, who let up a decisive two-run homer to the Giants' Juan Uribe in the ninth. "Pretty upset," Lilly said. "I felt responsible, felt like I gave them something." The leadoff homers Lilly let up in the seventh and the eighth, to Buster Posey and Edgar Renteria, respectively, both came on fastballs. "To Posey, I made the mistake of thinking that he wasn't swinging, and I just kind of grooved it in," Lilly said. "It kind of felt like he was taking right there, I don't know why. ... I feel like I gave them some momentum going into the last couple innings of the game."
Healthy Furcal gets day off to rest
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal was given the day off on Sunday for rest, not because of injury to his lower back."There are no issues, he's fine," manager Joe Torre said. "I just went up to him and said, 'What do you say if we give you a day off?' He said, 'Whatever you want to do.' That usually tells me something anyway. He's probably, after not playing for a little while, he's probably a little tired." Reed Johnson played left field in place of Scott Podsednik with the left-hander Jonathan Sanchez pitching for the Giants in the rubber match. Rod Barajas also moved out of the eighth spot to the seventh, with Johnson batting after him.
Howell discusses issue with umpires
LOS ANGELES -- When Hong-Chih Kuo came into Saturday night's Dodgers-Giants game in the eighth inning, an interesting conversation ensued in shallow left field between Dodgers bullpen coach Ken Howell and third-base umpire Rob Drake.As part of MLB's initiative to speed up the pace of the game, umpires have been instructed to tightly enforce the rules about relief pitchers halting their bullpen warmups when they are called into the game by the manager. Drake felt that Kuo took extra bullpen warmups, and when he said that to Kuo as he jogged toward the mound, Howell came out of the bullpen to take it up with Drake. "I couldn't see the umpire from where I was standing," said Howell. "There are poles down there and you don't get a clear view of the field. He [Drake] thought Kuo was taking extra pitches, but Kuo isn't watching for the signal. I tell Kuo when to go in and I didn't see the umpire. They [umpires] should come down to the bullpen and see what I mean." Manager Joe Torre said he would discuss it with the umpires before Sunday's game.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter and Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.