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Dodgers claim Loaiza off waivers

Dodgers claim Loaiza off waivers

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers claimed two-time All-Star right-handed pitcher Esteban Loaiza off waivers from the Oakland A's on Wednesday.

Loaiza, who has been hurt for most of the season, has made two starts for Oakland, both of which came in the past week. In the two starts, the 35-year-old Loaiza allowed just three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings.

"At this time of the year, we're looking for any way to improve the team, and Esteban is a talented veteran who we hope can contribute down the stretch and next season," said general manager Ned Colletti. He has a history of winning games and right now that's what's most important to our team."

The Dodgers will pay Loiaza just over $1 million this season and his entire $7 million salary in 2008. According to manager Grady Little, Loaiza will join the team Friday and is expected to start in place of Eric Stults on Tuesday against Chicago at Wrigley Field.

With the uncertainty surrounding injured pitcher's Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery) and Randy Wolf (left shoulder soreness), Loaiza is a good fit for the Dodgers, who need a veteran pitcher as they head into the stretch run in September.

"We've added two experience pitchers in Wells and Loaiza headed into the last month, and we're pleased with that," Little said. "We're probably going to fit him right into the rotation. We're glad he's here."

Loaiza, a native of Tijuana, Mexico, has 124 career victories, including a career-high 21 victories in 2003 as a member of the White Sox. That season, Loaiza finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting, leading the league in strikeouts (207) while finishing second in wins and third in ERA (2.90).

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred injured outfielder Jason Repko to the 60-day disabled list. Loaiza will join Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and David Wells in the Dodgers rotation.

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

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