BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Candiotti Puts Finger on the Problem

Tom Candiotti engaged in rehabilitative therapy for his finger injury Saturday. He was treated by a manicurist.

"I know it sounds funny, but usually it works," said Candiotti, who was forced from his last start because of a broken nail on his right index finger.

He said the manicurist in a Montreal beauty salon administered an ointment that is supposed to help nails grow. Candiotti was forced to seek such treatment because the nail broke off while Candiotti was throwing his knuckleball in the bullpen Friday.

If the nail does not grow in time for his next scheduled start, Monday in San Francisco, he will work without a knuckleball.

"My other pitches are good enough to do it, and usually I can get through the order once before they realize I don't have the knuckleball," Candiotti said. "Phil Niekro used to work without a knuckleball on the last day of the season, just to say he could do it. And I know I have better stuff than he did."

The Dodgers were five for six in stolen base attempts against former teammate Gary Carter, who says he knows how the Dodgers will solve their problems. "No big deal, they'll just spend 20 or 30 million again this winter to fix it back up," Carter said before the game. . . . After throwing a three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts against the Montreal Expos, Kevin Gross returns to the Olympic Stadium mound today in hopes of repeating that performance. But he hopes that other teams are not watching too closely. "I don't want to be traded, I think it would be dumb," Gross said. "Pitching is not our problem. I have finally set down some roots. It would be tough to pick up and leave." . . . Mike Piazza's hitting streak at triple-A Albuquerque was halted at 25 games, but in 92 games at double A and triple A combined, he has 21 home runs and 92 runs batted in. . . . Fred Claire, Dodger vice president, said reliever Rudy Seanez continues to make progress in his back rehabilitation and could be pitching in Los Angeles by the end of the season. Seanez was acquired from the Cleveland Indians last winter in hopes of becoming a bullpen stopper, but he has yet to throw an official pitch. . . . Larry Walker could be put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained muscle in his right rib cage area, which would be a blow to the Expos championship hopes. Walker, who has hit .315 in his last 31 games with 22 RBIs, will miss today's series finale and will be re-examined Monday.

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