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BASEBALL EXTRA | DODGER REPORT : NOTES

If Nothing Else, It's a Hot Ticket

September 09, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

Whatever Rupert Murdoch winds up paying for the Dodgers, he can feel confident he is getting a product restored to the level of its glory years, at least in terms of popularity.

The Dodgers surpassed three million in home attendance Monday for the second consecutive season after falling short in 1994 and '95.

The baseball strike that ended the 1994 season in August also ended any hopes of a three-million season. In 1995, it was a struggle to win the fans back.

But even with those two down years, the Dodgers have been above three million in five of the last eight seasons.

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When Dodger third baseman Todd Zeile reached base safely 11 consecutive times in a streak that ended Sunday, he came within three of the National League record, which is owned by a Dodger.

Pedro Guerrero reached base 14 consecutive times in 1985. The major league record of 16 was set by Ted Williams with the Boston Red Sox in 1957.

The major league high this season was 13 consecutive at-bats without an out, achieved by Bill Spiers of the Houston Astros.

Zeile achieved his mark by going seven for seven with four walks, one of those intentional. He had two homers and drove in six during the streak.

*

Add Zeile: With 26 home runs and 80 runs batted in, Zeile is the first Dodger third baseman to reach those numbers since Guerrero did it in 1983 when he hit 32 homers and had 103 RBIs.

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The San Antonio Missions, the Dodgers' double-A farm team, won their first Texas League title in 37 years Sunday by beating the Shreveport Captains, 2-0, in the final game of their best-of-seven series.

The victory allowed the Missions to avoid a monumental collapse. The team had beaten the Captains in the first three games of the series only to lose the next three.

Will Brunson got the victory, giving up only three hits over eight innings while striking out eight. He did not walk a batter.

*

Dodger outfielder Roger Cedeno, who suffered a fracture at the base of his left toe in Pittsburgh on Aug. 25, underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from that area.

Second baseman Tripp Cromer is scheduled to undergo surgery today to repair a torn ligament near his right elbow, an injury that occurred in late July.

ON DECK

* Opponent--Atlanta Braves, two games.

* Site--Dodger Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports West 2 tonight and Wednesday.

* Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

* Records--Dodgers 81-63, Braves 89-54.

* Record vs. Braves--5-4.

TONIGHT

DODGERS' ISMAEL VALDES (9-10, 2.66 ERA) vs. BRAVES' JOHN SMOLTZ

(13-11, 3.16 ERA)

* Update--The Dodgers have regarded this homestand as a dress rehearsal for the playoffs. If they outlast the San Francisco Giants for the division title, the Dodgers figure they will meet the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves in the first two rounds, if they get that far. The Dodgers avoid the Brave leaders in victories (Denny Neagle, 20) and earned-run average (Greg Maddux, 2.31). But that's no cause for excitement, not when dealing with pitching-rich Atlanta. The Dodgers still must face Smoltz and Tom Glavine. The Dodgers have won two of three against the Braves at Dodger Stadium this season. The Dodgers have had a losing record at home against Atlanta only once in the last 33 years, having gone 0-3 against the Braves at Dodger Stadium in 1994. Valdes has the sixth best ERA in the league.

* Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.--Ramon Martinez (9-3, 3.42) vs. Tom Glavine (12-7, 3.25).

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