Mike Piazza, who has an eight-game hitting streak, didn’t start Wednesday. He’s 14 for 30 (.467) during his streak. “Sure, I’m a little bit tired after catching (137) games, but there’s no reason to stop kicking butt and finish strong,” said Piazza, whose .313 batting average is his highest since he was batting .314 on Sept. 5.
Said pitcher Kevin Gross, Piazza’s batterymate Tuesday: “He’s an animal. He’s done a great job. We all hope someday maybe he’ll be playing a different position to save wear and tear on his body, but he’s strong and he’s young, so he can just ride it out.”
Darryl Strawberry continues to work out with the Dodgers’ Instructional League team, but he has not played in its first eight games. According to the club, he has been slowed by flu and is still working on his swing and his conditioning. . . . Fred Claire, the Dodgers’ executive vice president, reiterated his intention to stay out of the free-agent market this winter and allow youngsters to compete for jobs next spring. That will help control payroll costs, although Claire said cost-cutting is not his prime motivation. “We had a significant reduction last year to this year and I don’t see our payroll going up,” he said. “It’s not our goal to make a major reduction, but we would like to see it come down even a little bit more.”