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Hershiser Isn't Enough to Stem Dodger Woes : Baseball: He is impressive through seven innings, but the Expos get to him in the eighth and sweep the series with a 3-1 victory.

April 23, 1993|MARYANN HUDSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MONTREAL — Larry Walker noticed it earlier this season, when he saw Orel Hershiser pitching on television against the Atlanta Braves. He told his teammates to look at the way Hershiser moved the ball around the plate, to notice his control.

Thursday night, on his way to leading the Montreal Expos to a 3-1 victory over the Dodgers, Walker saw it firsthand. He may have been Hershiser's nemesis, but he walked away from Olympic Stadium knowing beyond a doubt that Hershiser is back.

"He is every bit the pitcher he was before his surgery," Walker said. "Maybe his velocity is a little less, but his control is pinpoint accuracy. To have that kind of control and to be able to move the ball around like he does, it sinks and cuts, well, he's back, that's for sure. "

Before a crowd of 10,683, Hershiser held the Expos to four hits and one run through seven innings. Two of those hits were by Walker, who broke up a scoreless game in the fourth inning by doubling to knock in the Expos' first run. Then, in the eighth, Walker, who had singled, scored the winning run on a double by Darrin Fletcher.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers continued in their batting malaise and managed only four hits against Expo starter Kent Bottenfield.

"How many hits have we gotten in three games?" asked Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, who again shook up the batting order by benching a couple of players.

The answer, 12 hits in three games, and two of those were by pitchers.

It was Hershiser, who is batting .300, who led off the sixth inning with a single up the middle, went to third on a wild throwing error after Brett Butler bunted, and then tied the score at 1-1 when Eric Davis hit into one of the Dodgers' four double plays.

"It was a good thing (Hershiser) got that hit," Lasorda said. "We'll try something different (today) to try and get out of this. I don't know what, I wish I knew, but we'll try everything.

"We had opportunities to win all three games (against the Expos), just like in Atlanta. . . . We've been through this before over the years and I've got to believe we are going to come out of it and start hitting. I know these guys are better hitters than that."

Hershiser seemed to tire in the eighth inning, when Walker hit Hershiser's slider to right field and Fletcher, who was traded to the Expos by the Dodgers for Roger McDowell, doubled to center to score the winning run.

Hershiser said he wasn't tired, and Lasorda, saying Hershiser was throwing too well to pinch-hit for him in the Dodgers' eighth, had left him in.

Fletcher scored the final run on a double by Wil Cordero.

Mel Rojas pitched the ninth inning in relief and retired pinch-hitter Lenny Harris, Darryl Strawberry and Eric Karros--who had two of the Dodgers hits--in order.

Hershiser (2-2), greeted reporters after the game.

"We had our opportunities, but we just didn't do the job. With the way my arm feels, it's hard for me to get depressed. When was the last time (Lasorda) didn't pinch-hit for me going into the eighth inning? I'm feeling great, and if I keep throwing this way I'm going to win a lot of games this year."

Lasorda benched Jose Offerman, who is batting only .183, and Mike Piazza, who is hitless in his last two games. With Piazza, who is batting .260, it was more to give him a rest after catching 13 of the club's 16 games, but he ended up playing anyway when Lasorda used him to pinch-hit for Carlos Hernandez in the seventh inning.

With the Dodgers trailing, 1-0, Mike Sharperson, who played shortstop, saved a run in the fourth inning when he stabbed a grounder and threw out Walker at home plate.

After Hershiser singled in the sixth, Butler, who is batting .394 since being put in the leadoff spot, dropped a bunt that rolled midway to the mound. Fletcher scrambled to come up with the ball but then threw it wildly past first.

Hershiser slid into second base, saw the ball in right field and got up and charged to third. Before he slid into the bag, Walker's throw from right skimmed under him and bounced to and off the Dodgers' dugout.

Hershiser scored when Davis hit into the double play.

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