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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : This May Be Start of Something Big

Darryl Strawberry’s 13th-inning, three-run homer Friday wasn’t his longest of the year, but it was his biggest, as it gave the Dodgers a 4-1 victory over the Houston Astros--and, Strawberry hopes, a shot of adrenaline.

Strawberry was booed in his first three at-bats Friday, but he tied the game in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly, then won it in the 13th after Brett Butler singled and Kal Daniels was walked.

“That (homer) was a cheap one. It just cleared the wall,” he said. “But it was a big home run for the club. Hopefully that’ll be a big turnaround for us. We’ve been going through a period of waiting for someone to do something. It’s very frustrating when you can’t come through--that’s what’s been happening on our club. The good thing is we’re fighting through it. When you’re a key player and everybody’s expecting big things from you, you want to be there this time of year.”

Manager Tom Lasorda continues to hold out hope this is the start of a hot streak for Strawberry. “He’s one of those hitters that’s hard to come by--when they get hot, they get hot,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for him to get hot.”

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When Friday’s starting pitcher, Orel Hershiser, left after one inning Friday, the unsung heroes turned out to be relievers Jim Gott, Tim Crews, Roger McDowell, Jay Howell and winner Kevin Gross. They combined for 12 innings of five-hit, one-run ball.

Hershiser, who had flu and complained of shoulder stiffness Friday, said he felt fine Saturday and expects to make his next scheduled start Wednesday.

“It was like I had already pitched nine innings while I was warming up--tired, worn out and stiff,” Hershiser said Saturday. “It didn’t scare me, (but) I feel a lot better about it today. Dr. (Ralph) Gambardella checked around the rotator cuff and the surgery and couldn’t find any pain. Today it feels like I never pitched. We’re at a loss for why it happened other than the flu.”


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