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Glavine, Braves Take Steam Out of Dodgers' Streak, 6-1

June 17, 1989|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

At the time, Tom Lasorda was desperate. His Dodgers were dropping in the standings as fast as he was dropping pounds.

So Lasorda moved Kirk Gibson into the leadoff spot and moved from the dugout into the third base coaching box, and the Dodgers won five straight, their longest winning streak of the season.

It seemed that Gibson and Lasorda had cured the Dodgers' woes, but left-hander Tom Glavine and the Atlanta Braves stopped Los Angeles' streak, 6-1, Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Will Gibson stay in the leadoff spot and will Lasorda remain in the third base coaching box?

"I don't know," the Dodger manager said. "Come out to the game Saturday. We win five games in a row and you come in and want to know will Gibson bat leadoff. If I told you he wasn't (going to bat leadoff), I might change my mind and you'd call me a liar."

A crowd of 33,372 saw Glavine beat the Dodgers for the third time this season.

A 17-game loser last season, Glavine was 0-5 with a 7.90 earned-run average against the Dodgers in 1988. But he is unbeaten against them this season and hasn't allowed an earned run.

Why the turnaround?

"I'm trying to be a lot more aggressive," Glavine said. "I don't know why I've had such success against the Dodgers this season. Maybe I'm a litle bit lucky.

"I finally got fed up with (losing), so I figured, if I was going to be beat, I might as well be beaten pitching aggressively."

After defeating the Dodgers, 6-1, in the Braves' home opener, Glavine pitched a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles last week in Atlanta, allowing only six hits.

"Glavine has changed a lot in one year," Gibson said. "Either he's better or we're worse. He's doing something right, and we're doing something wrong against him."

This time, Glavine worked 7 2/3 innings, yielding eight singles and striking out eight. He also helped himself by tripling in a run in the sixth inning.

Glavine worked his way out of a jam in the fifth inning after Gibson and Willie Randolph got consecutive two-out singles. But Glavine struck out Jose Gonzalez.

After giving up a two-out single to Eddie Murray in the eighth inning, Glavine was replaced by Joe Boever, who got Jeff Hamilton to pop out to second.

"I think Tommy (Glavine) is getting back at the Dodgers for what they did to him last year," Brave Manager Russ Nixon said. "He's getting more first-pitch strikes and his changeup has improved. We couldn't ask for more."

Tim Leary didn't fare as well for the Dodgers.

He retired Lonnie Smith to open the game, but the next batter, Jeff Treadway, smashed Leary's first pitch over the wall in right-center field for his third home run of the season.

The Dodgers got to Glavine in the third to tie it, 1-1.

After Alfredo Griffin opened the inning by beating out a grounder to shortstop, Leary followed with a single to short right field. Glavine struck out Gibson, but the runners advanced when Randolph grounded out to second.

Glavine looked as if he had worked his way out of the jam when he got Gonzalez to pop up, but Glavine lost the ball in the lights, and Griffin, who had faked a steal of home earlier, raced home to tie the game.

The Braves got the run back in the fourth when Dale Murphy led off with a ground-rule double and scored on Ron Gant's sacrifice fly to center.

Leary departed, trailing, 4-1, after allowing two more runs in the fifth inning.

"Leary didn't have good command of his pitches and that made the difference," Lasorda said.

The Dodgers' offense was no help, either.

Gonzalez, making his fifth start of the season in right field, was one for four as the replacement for Davis, who doesn't start against left-handers.

Murray continued his slump, going hitless in his first three at-bats before collecting a two-out single in the eighth.

Lasorda, however, said he is not considering resting Murray for a game.

Dodger Notes

Outfielder Ken Landreaux, who played for the Dodgers in 1981-87, signed a minor league contract Friday. Landreaux, 34, who had been playing in the Mexican Summer League, is expected to join the Dodgers' triple-A Albuquerque club. An 11-year veteran, Landreaux has a career batting average of .268. . . . Tim Leary, who won a silver bat last year as the Dodgers' best hitting pitcher, got his first hit of the season in the second inning of Friday night's game. . . . The Dodgers are 8-2 with Manager Tom Lasorda coaching at third base.

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