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Ramon Ortiz making a strong push to become Dodgers' fifth starter

March 15, 2010 |  2:41 pm

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said before Monday's game that there is no clear-cut leader for the fifth spot in the team's rotation, but there could be now.

Ramon Ortiz, the 36-year-old right-hander who spent the first six years of his big-league career with the Angels, threw four scoreless innings against his former team in Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday, allowing only a pair of infield singles. Ortiz struck out five, including Angels center fielder and No. 3 batter Torii Hunter twice.

Ortiz has now thrown nine scoreless innings in three Cactus League appearances, allowing five hits, striking out 11 and walking two. He is competing with James McDonald, Russ Ortiz, Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger for the fifth spot in the rotation.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.