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Perez says Dodgers treating him 'like trash'

ST. LOUIS -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Odalis Perez, who
surrendered a game-winning home run to the Cardinals' Albert Pujols
in the 14th inning on Thursday night, accused his team of treating
him like "trash."

The left-hander is in the second year of a three-year, $24
million contract and in his fifth season with the Dodgers. He's
been banished to the bullpen except for one start since mid-May,
has been used only twice since June 28 and is 4-4 with a 6.79 earned-run average.

"I don't know why I'm in this situation," Perez said. "I've
been here for the last five years and I've never been in a
situation like this.

"If I've done something wrong, let me know, tell me. I want to
know. I've been treated like trash."

Perez won 15 games in 2002 and 12 in '03, but was 7-8 in an
injury-plagued 2005. He said he just needs to pitch more to escape
his funk.

Manager Grady Little said Perez was in the game on Thursday
"pretty much" because he was out of options. He was the fifth
reliever used by the Dodgers.

"What did I do to these people?" Perez said. "I've cried a
lot of times about what I did wrong to these people.

"Why have I been treated like that? I want an answer, I want
the truth, I want to talk to somebody."

Perez said he had not requested a trade, saying "I don't make
those decisions." But he said he planned to talk to Little.

"If a team gets me, I need to pitch more," he said. "Without
my confidence it's not the same no more.

"For me to be in this situation it's very hard, it's very
painful."

But he also said he didn't want to leave the Dodgers.

"I want to be better for this team, I want to be on this
team," Perez said. "I'm a very grown man. If I'm at this level
it's because I can pitch at this level.

"I don't want to see people ignoring me, I'm too good for
that."

Pujols increased the pain. He's 10-for-15 with five homers
against Perez, and Perez said Pujols hit ball four on a full count
over the left-field wall.

"It's part of the game," Pujols said. "I guess I swing real
good against him and I don't try to do too much."