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BASEBALL : DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Lasorda Meets With Samuel on Slump

Manager Tom Lasorda held a closed-door meeting with struggling Juan Samuel and batting coach Ben Hines before Monday’s game.

Samuel struck out three times Sunday in Houston. It was only the fourth time he had done so this season while showing the same poor swing that haunted him during his disastrous first four months last season. Samuel is batting .246 since June 10, when he reached his season-high .340 average.

“I wanted to remind Juan to cut down on his swing,” Lasorda said. “He’s been doing so beautifully on that part of his game all year, until now. I just wanted to get him thinking about that again.”

Hines noted that Samuel’s .293 average was still 35 points higher than his career average. “But we also know that he has been swinging better than his career average, and we want that to continue,” Hines said.

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Samuel went hitless with a walk in two at-bats Monday before leaving the game because of a pulled right hamstring.

Tom Browning, working on three days’ rest, will start against the Dodgers’ Mike Morgan in Thursday’s series finale. . . . Jeff Hamilton, suffering from a torn ligament in his left knee, will begin his 20-day minor league rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Albuquerque Friday in Colorado Springs. . . . Jose Offerman, who will replace injured Alfredo Griffin in the Dodger lineup indefinitely, was batting .300 in 78 games for triple-A Albuquerque. He had eight doubles, four triples, 29 runs batted in, 32 stolen bases and 17 errors.


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