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Brown Has Way With Astros


Kevin Brown's $105 million contract seems like a bargain when he pitches against the Houston Astros.

Brown pitched a four-hitter to continue his recent mastery of Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Astros 2-1 Wednesday night.

"He's a great pitcher," said Derek Bell, who was 1-for-17 lifetime against Brown before getting two late hits. "That's why they pay him $100 million. You've got to tip your hat to him."

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Game Summary

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  • Brown has won his last three starts against the Astros, including a 2-1 victory with 16 strikeouts while pitching for the San Diego Padres in last year's playoffs. The 16 strikeouts were the second most in playoff history, behind Bob Gibson's 17 in the 1968 World Series.

    "I don't think he was quite as good tonight as he was in the playoff game against us," manager Larry Dierker said. "But he's better than most pitchers we face. But that's because he's Kevin Brown."

    Brown (12-6) struck out seven and walked two in his second complete game of the season. Brown retired 10 in a row from the fourth to the seventh innings to improve to 3-2 in the regular season against the Astros.

    Brown, who beat Houston 1-0 earlier this season in Los Angeles, has allowed only two runs in his last 25 innings against the Astros.

    "I've had better and I've had worse," Brown said. "It was just a matter of trying not to let them hit the ball hard. I was trying to mix it up. I threw everything but the kitchen sink. It wasn't a matter of having one good pitch. I just mixed it up."

    Brown retired the first two batters in the ninth before walking Jeff Bagwell on a 3-2 pitch and then allowing an RBI double to Bell. Daryle Ward flied out to end the game.

    "I was going to stick with him until his arm fell off," manager Davey Johnson said. "He had a lot of easy innings and a few hard ones. But he was right where he wanted to be."

    Chris Holt (2-11) allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings.

    "I'm not a 2-11 pitcher," Holt said. "I know I keep saying that. But there's nothing I can do about it except keep trying to keep us in the game."

    The Dodgers scored the only run they needed when Raul Mondesi doubled with one out in the second inning and scored on a single by Adrian Beltre.

    Devon White led off the seventh with a bunt single and went to second on a throwing error by Holt. White went to third on a groundout and scored on a close play at home on Craig Counsell's infield grounder to make it 2-0.

    Notes

  • Craig Biggio's major league-leading 46th double Tuesday keeps him on pace to break the single-season record of 67 set by Boston's Earl Webb in 1931. The current pace would give Biggio 69.
  • Mark Carlton umpired third base in place of Steve Rippley, who was scheduled to work the game Wednesday. Rippley was hit in the ankle by a pitch in Tuesday's game and is day-to-day.
  • SS Ricky Gutierrez, who fractured his left hand June 7, left on a rehab assignment to Triple A New Orleans on Wednesday. He will rejoin the team at Atlanta next week.
  • Bell was 1-for-17 lifetime against Kevin Brown before getting hits in his last two at-bats.
  • The Dodgers have 123 homers in 107 games and are on pace to hit 187, four short of the club record.
  • The Dodgers are 10-5 in the last 15 games in which Counsell has played.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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