Notes: Tsao's return bumps Anderson

Notes: Tsao bumps Anderson

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers activated reliever Chin-hui Tsao before Friday night's game against the Padres after the pitcher had a successful outing at Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Tsao, who had been on the disabled list since May 23 with a shoulder strain, threw 17 pitches on Wednesday for the 51s, allowing one run on two hits while striking out two.

"Tsao is ready to pitch today, but we're going to monitor him closely," said manager Grady Little said on Friday. "We'll probably give him one inning tonight, probably 15 to 20 pitches."

Before being injured, Tsao had appeared in 15 games for the Dodgers and was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. In 18 innings, Tsao struck out 15 batters and issued six walks.

In order to make room for Tsao on the roster, the Dodgers were forced to designate Marlon Anderson for assignment. Anderson will have a 10-day period in which he will either be traded, released or clear waivers.

Anderson, who helped the Dodgers make the playoffs last season, was mainly used as a pinch-hitter this season before going on the DL in May. Anderson returned to the club on June 18, but with the need for a 12th pitcher, the Dodgers felt they had no other option but to release the veteran.

"We have a real need for another pitcher on the staff right now, and at this point in our season, we are finding a tough time to get Marlon enough at-bats," Little said. "It was a tough decision because what Marlon Anderson did for us last fall and the month of September, you can't say enough about the job he did."

Anderson, who was unavailable for comment, was hitting .231 (6-for-26) with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Nomar at third: Nomar Garciaparra made his third start at the third base for the Dodgers and his first at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.

Garciaparra, who was moved to third base on Tuesday to make room for James Loney at first, said he felt comfortable playing the position and was willing to do whatever the team asks him to do.

"This team has been like this since last year," said Garciaparra, referring to the players' willingness to adapt to new roles. "I'm going to go out there and do whatever they ask me to do to help the team."

In 36 career games as a third baseman, Garciaparra is hitting .289 (41-for-142) with seven home runs, 22 RBIs and eight doubles.

"With an athlete like Nomar, it's more like riding a bicycle. He just needs to get over there for a day or so and see the angle of the ball coming off the bat," Little said. "Offensively, he's had a little bad spell, but he'll get through that, too. He'll be fine; he's just going through a tough time right now."

Starters getting the job done: Only 23 pitchers have won eight or more games this season, and they come from 16 different teams. The Dodgers are the only team in baseball with three eight-game winners (Brad Penny, Derek Lowe and Randy Wolf), and they are one of just three teams with two nine-game winners (Penny and Wolf), joining the Angels and Red Sox.

They're hitting, too: Wolf had two hits on Thursday, marking the fourth consecutive game that a Dodgers pitcher had at least one hit.

The two-hit performance raised the staff's batting average to .160, the fourth-best mark in the National Leagjue behind the Mets (.192), Cardinals (.181) and Phillies (.165).

Coming up: Two of the best pitchers in the Majors face off when Penny (10-1, 2.04 ERA) takes on the Padres and Jake Peavy (9-2, 2.14) at 7:10 PT on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium in the second game of a three-game series.

Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.