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Sports

Thursday, June 10, 1999

Dodgers 7, Rangers 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) For one game, the key elements of a championship team finally were in alignment for the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kevin Brown pitched eight solid innings Wednesday night en route to a 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. Eric Karros provided the power with a three-run homer, and leadoff man Eric Young had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run single that capped a six-run fourth inning.

"This is just what we needed," manager Davey Johnson said. "We got a big spurt, which showed we can still do it. I almost forgot we could do it."

After Jose Vizcaino led off the fourth with a scorching liner to center that was caught, the next six batters reached base against Mark Clark (3-5).

Gary Sheffield singled, Raul Mondesi walked and Karros drove his eighth home run halfway up the pavilion seats in left-center to end a homerless drought of 44 at-bats.

Angel Pena singled home another run, and Young made it 6-0 with a two-run single following Brown's sacrifice.

One of the keys to the offensive outburst was the walk to Mondesi, whose 29 bases on balls in the cleanup spot are as many as Young has in the leadoff role. Mondesi needs only one more walk to match his entire total for last season, when he played in 148 games.

"Everybody's got to get on base, instead of trying to do it all by themselves," Karros said. "Everybody's just got to worry about getting down to first base, and we'll be all right. That goes for the top of the lineup as well as the middle of the lineup."

Young, who has missed nine of the Dodgers' first 58 games because of assorted nagging injuries, has seven hits in 13 at-bats following his 0-for-16 drought.

"He's always been a hitter," Rangers center fielder Tom Goodwin said. "Regardless of what kind of slump he goes into, he's always going to come out of it swinging."

Los Angeles is going to need a lot more games like this to catch the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks, who lead them by five games in the NL West. It might not seem like much of a deficit, but the Dodgers' pitching and hitting both have been inconsistent.

"It's been a collective lull," Karros said. "We just haven't gotten the big hit and we haven't made the big pitch. We've had some instances where we had a lead late in the game and haven't been able to hold them.

"We've had other games where we've held the other club to one or two runs and the offense puts up one run or none. So it's been a collective effort. You can't really single out any one thing," Karros said.

Brown (7-3) improved his home record to 5-0. He struck out six and allowed five hits, including a two-run single by Rusty Greer in the fifth inning after being staked to the 6-0 lead.

"I'll take that anytime," the right-hander said following the latest dividend on his seven-year, $105 million contract. "It gives you breathing room and it's much appreciated against a team like that. They throw thunder out there. I was behind on the counts a lot, but I had great command and was hitting my spots."



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise