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Herrera feels OK after plunking scare

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers utility man Elian Herrera narrowly escaped injury Sunday when White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka grazed his helmet with a fastball.

"If I didn't move, maybe I die right now," said Herrera. "It was coming right at my face. Not good."

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Herrera remained in the game until the Dodgers' half of the inning ended, then was removed for precautionary purposes, but said he was fine.

Herrera, a nine-year Minor Leaguer, suddenly stepped in at second base last year when Mark Ellis was injured. He's in a tough competition to make the club this spring with utility roles virtually assured for Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto.

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