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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

Batting Race Doesn't Concern Gwynn

June 29, 1997|CHRIS BAKER

The battle for the National League batting title figures to come down to a three-man race between Dodger catcher Mike Piazza, Colorado outfielder Larry Walker and San Diego outfielder Tony Gwynn.

Walker is batting .407, Gwynn .393.

Piazza, who was one for four in Saturday's 9-3 loss to the Padres, is batting .363.

This month Piazza is batting .431 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs and has improved his average 42 points.

But Gwynn isn't concerned about the batting title.

"It's not going to change anybody's thinking of me," Gwynn said. "I've won seven and I think my place in history is pretty well set. That's not a priority of mine.

"The only thing I want to do is get 200 hits."

*

Wilton Guerrero tripled in the fourth inning to tie former Dodger Delino DeShields of the St. Louis Cardinals for the major league lead with eight.

Guerrero has hit in six consecutive games, batting .360 with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs during the streak.

Guerrero's triple extended the Dodgers' streak of games with extra base hits to 57.

*

Brett Butler, who has a strained upper right shoulder and neck, made his second pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning, drawing a walk. . . . Roger Cedeno, who started in center field in place of Butler, is batting .313 with four runs and three RBIs in his last eight starts.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TODAY'S GAME

DODGERS' PEDRO ASTACIO (3-7, 4.21 ERA) vs. PADRES' DANNY JACKSON

(1-5, 7.32 ERA)

Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m.

TV--Fox Sports West 2. Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Update--Astacio has lost a career-high seven consecutive games. He has given up 34 runs over 53 1/3 innings (5.74 earned-run average) during his losing streak after giving up only 10 runs over 41 innings (2.20 ERA) in his first six starts. Astacio has given up a home run in eight of his last 10 starts after not giving up a home run in his first seven games. Steve Finley hit two home runs in Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Dodgers. It was the sixth time in his career and the third time this season he has had two home runs in a game. The Padres have won three in a row and six of nine games after losing five in a row and 11 of 14. Jackson, acquired from the Cardinals in a five-player deal on June 14, has lost five consecutive games.

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