Baseball

Playoff-tested infielder Belliard goes to Dodgers for stretch drive

The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers added to their infield depth on Sunday, getting Ronnie Belliard from the Washington Nationals for a minor leaguer and a player to be named.

The Dodgers sent Class A pitcher Luis Garcia to the Nationals.

Belliard, 34, batted .246 with five homers and 22 RBI for Washington.

He’ll join the Dodgers in Los Angeles before their game today against Arizona, making him eligible for postseason play.

“He gives us some offense,” manager Joe Torre said. “He can play around the infield, probably all positions but shortstop. It gives me the ability to spell these guys. He gives us a little more depth with experience coming off the bench.”

Belliard started at second base for St. Louis during the Cardinals’ run to the 2006 World Series title. He batted .240 with four RBI during the playoffs. The Dodgers will have to make a roster move to open a spot for him.

“It’s a compliment,” Belliard said, after the Cardinals beat the Nationals, 2-1, in St. Louis to complete a three-game sweep. “Now I have a chance to win another one. I helped the Cardinals in 2006 with my defense and some lucky hits that I got in the playoffs. Hopefully I can do that in L.A. That’s why they traded for me.”

Garcia is a 22-year-old right-hander who went 5-3 with five saves and a 2.92 ERA in 34 appearances for Class A Great Lakes.

Peavy still not healthy

Still waiting to make his first start for the Chicago White Sox, Jake Peavy left his minor league rehab outing after only 3 innings and 68 pitches Saturday night because he felt tightness in his pitching elbow.

The right-hander, acquired from San Diego at the July 31 trade deadline, was hit on that elbow by a line drive in his previous start for Triple-A Charlotte. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said Peavy will join the White Sox today in Minnesota, where he is expected to get X-rays and be evaluated by the club’s medical staff.

Short hops

Oft-injured Houston lefty Mike Hampton won’t pitch again this season and is planning to have surgery on his pitching shoulder and both knees. Hampton, on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a partially torn rotator cuff, will have MRI test results on his shoulder and knees sent to Dr. David Altchek of the New York Mets. … Boston Red Sox right-hander Tim Wakefield expects to get a cortisone shot today after his next scheduled start was scratched because his balky back acted up again. … Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner missed a second straight game Sunday because of an injured left shoulder. He is set for a precautionary exam today in Cleveland – a day off for the Indians.

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