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Brown’s Deal Will Fly a Little Higher

Kevin Brown, the highest-paid man in baseball, is going to get richer. For accounting purposes, that is.

The only question is by how much.

Major league baseball officials, computing the luxury tax on clubs with the highest payrolls, are figuring that the value of Brown’s annual $15-million contract should be increased $600,000 per year to account for 12 charter flights guaranteed the Dodger right-hander by the club. Brown is entitled to the flights in each of the seven years of his contract in order to fly his family from his Macon, Ga., home to Los Angeles for in-season visits.

The Dodgers, with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, are disputing the charter figure, which comes out to $50,000 a flight, saying they will be able to work it out at a little more than $20,000 a flight.

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“We’ll just see what it comes out to at the end of the year,” said Sam Fernandez, the team’s general counsel.

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The Dodgers shut out the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., for the second time in four days, beating them, 2-0, Tuesday. . . . Darren Dreifort pitched six innings and gave up up only three hits while striking out six. . . . Minor league left-hander Jeff Williams, bidding for a spot in the bullpen, limited St. Louis to two hits in two innings of relief. . . . Jeff Shaw pitched the ninth inning for the save. . . . Raul Mondesi had three hits, including a triple, and threw out pitcher Darren Oliver at first base on a ground ball to right field. . . . Mark McGwire had two singles for the Cardinals.

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Right-handed reliever Antonio Osuna, put on the disabled list Monday as he continues to recover from off-season elbow surgery, pitched a scoreless inning at Dodgertown in Vero Beach in a Class-A game and did not experience any pain. Throwing for the Dodgers’ San Bernardino Stampede against the Cardinals’ Peoria Chiefs, Osuna needed only nine pitches to retire the side on three ground balls.

It was his first opportunity this spring to face opposing batters.

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Left fielder Gary Sheffield shrugged when asked about his spring batting average of .115. “I’ve never seen any spring training numbers on my bubble-gum cards,” he said. . . . With an 18-8-1 spring training record, the Dodgers need to win three of their remaining four games to tie the club’s best spring win total. They were 21-11 in 1988 and went on to win the World Series.

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