06/16/12 10:12 PM ET
Gordon back in the swing of things at leadoff
By Alex Angert / MLB.com
Gordon was benched late in May after struggling through the first month of the season and after spending time at the bottom of the order, the shortstop is giving the Dodgers some consistency in the leadoff spot.
"As we put him back in, we put him in the back of the order to take pressure off, knowing we wanted him back up there," manager Don Mattingly said. "He did well back there with the hitting part, but it stagnates back there. What he really does for this club doesn't really show out of that eight-hole."
Mattingly said Gordon seems calmer these days and the intention of the benching was to have him step back, watch some games and do some work without having to compete.
So far, the thought process has worked.
Gordon scored eight runs and stolen seven bases in the last 10 games entering Saturday night's contest. He has also walked in four of his last five games.
Lasorda thankful for support of friends, fans
LOS ANGELES -- Tommy Lasorda returned to Dodger Stadium on Saturday for the first time since suffering a mild heart attack on June 4 in New York City.
"I pulled through," he said in the dugout surrounded by reporters.
The former Dodgers manager said he was feeling better and he wanted to thank everyone for all the support he received while recovering. He said he received over 300 phone calls and he couldn't stress how appreciative he was for each and every one.
The 84-year-old made a point to give a special thank you to Commissioner Bud Selig and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre for forcing him to go the hospital in the first place.
After telling former Diamondback Luis Gonzalez he was feeling woozy while at the First-Year Player Draft, medics took Lasorda's blood pressure and said he needed to go to the hospital.
"I said, 'I ain't going to no hospital,'" he said. "And they said, 'You have to go.' "
"The Commissioner came over and said, 'You're going to that hospital.' Joe Torre came over and said, 'You are going to that hospital,'" he added with a laugh. "So I said, 'I guess I'm going to the hospital.'"
"They put me in an ambulance on a stretcher and that guy was driving that ambulance and he must have been hitting every pothole on the way," he said. "I was shaking up and I thought I was one of Charlie Hough's knuckleballs from New Jersey to New York."
Lasorda said he has been taking it easy since being released, thanks to the orders from his doctor, wife and basically everyone else, he said.
Lasorda added it was like he was on a merry-go-round before the heart attack with how busy his schedule was.
"We want to take it slow," manager Don Mattingly said. "Tommy is go go go, so hopefully he'll take it easy."
Although he is taking it slow, Lasorda said he's not going to stop working.
"I'm going to do all I can," he said. "I ain't going to stop."
He added he was frightened at the time because he didn't feel anything. He said he later found out that three of the arteries were great, but the fourth had a 90 percent block.
The doctors opened it up, put a stent in there and said he was ready to go. He added he even feels stronger now.
Lasorda said he's going to have to give up a lot of foods, including pasta, which he said he could eat every day if allowed. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, he had only eaten a bowl of oatmeal and he expected to just have salad for dinner.
"I've got to lose the weight," said Lasorda, who once lost 40 pounds on a diet plan.
Guerra, Hawksworth on the mend
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday that Javy Guerra is expected to travel with the team to San Francisco on June 25, but that he won't be going to Oakland this coming week.
He said Guerra has been throwing at 90 feet and that he's building up strength. The reliever will appear in a few rehab games as soon as he is ready to go before returning to the ballclub.
Another reliever is on the mend as well. Blake Hawksworth, who has resumed throwing, threw a simulated game last week and he should be ready for a rehab stint at Class A Rancho Cucamonga in about a week.
Guerra has been on the disabled list since June 3 with right knee inflammation, while Hawksworth has been out all year after right elbow surgery in January to clean out scar tissue.
Jansen using past as springboard
LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen had an April to forget in 2011. The reliever gave up runs in four of his 11 appearances and was tagged for 11 earned runs that month. From there, his season took a complete turnaround, as he allowed only six earned runs in his next 40 appearances.
The young reliever learned an important lesson during that rough month.
"Yesterday is already over," Jansen said. "You can't let all that stuff bother you."
More than a year later, Jansen is applying that logic in the closer's role for the Dodgers. Jansen picked up the loss in two of three games this week against the Angels and heading into Friday night, he had allowed a run in three of his previous four appearances.
So when he got the call to close out Friday's game with the Dodgers up by one run in the ninth, Jansen headed to the mound without a thought in his head about his previous outings.
"I just put it behind me," he said. "One thing I learned in this game is that I can't come to the ballpark and think about yesterday. It's history. All I do is come back today and try to be my best."
Jansen said the key to doing that is simply being aggressive and continuing to attack batters. He struck out two White Sox batters and picked up his 11th save in a 1-2-3 inning Friday night to preserve the 7-6 victory.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.