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L.A. Unable To Dodge Padres Bullet

Let's see, root canal at 2 p.m., pitch at 7 p.m.

That was Kevin Brown's itinerary Tuesday, when he threw six innings for his seventh victory just hours after an infected tooth forced him into the dentist's chair. And for once the San Diego Padres provided enough offense, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-6 for their eighth straight win.

"The pain wasn't that bad, but I just felt like I had no legs under me," said Brown, who had the root canal on a front tooth. "I was tired before even going out there. It was nice to see the runs scored when they were."

Ken Caminiti hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Carlos Hernandez added a three-run double in the seventh against his former team.

It was the first meeting this season between the NL West rivals. The Padres moved 20 games over .500 (45-25) for the first time since the last day of 1996, when they completed a sweep at Dodger Stadium to win the division.

The Dodgers, who gave up five unearned runs, dropped a season-high 10 ½ games behind the division-leading Padres. The Padres are 11-2 against divisional rivals this year.

Brown (7-3) won his fourth straight decision despite allowing homers to former Florida teammate Gary Sheffield and Raul Mondesi in the span of seven pitches to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

The Padres tied it in the third on Tony Gwynn's two-run double and never trailed again.

Brown said the tooth infection came on suddenly Monday and when he woke up Tuesday, the pain was pretty bad. His dentist was going to be out of town, and it wasn't something he could put off.

Even so, he wasn't going to miss the start.

"I did what I could and I was hoping it was enough," Brown said.

Fellow starter Andy Ashby was impressed.

"That's awesome," Ashby said. "That shows how competitive a guy he is. I don't know how many guys would do that."

After Brian Boehringer allowed three runs in the ninth, Trevor Hoffman got one out for his 21st save and 29th straight dating to last season.

Mondesi had four hits and Sheffield went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

Mondesi said the loss was disappointing "especially since we scored early against Brown. I thought we would have played better."

Caminiti's ninth homer came off Chan Ho Park (5-4) and followed a single by Gwynn to give the Padres a 5-3 lead. Mark Sweeney, pinch-hitting for Brown, hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.

The Padres added four unearned runs in the seventh, helped by an error on second baseman Eric Young, who lifted his foot off the bag too early trying to turn a double play.

One run scored when Mark Guthrie walked Andy Sheets with the bases loaded and two out, and Hernandez then doubled on Jim Bruske's first itch. Hernandez was with the Dodgers from 1990-96.

"I'm very upset," said Young, who thought he was on the bag long enough. "We don't want to come in and lose both games. We need to win (Wednesday night) and chop it (the Padres' lead) down."

Brown, who had given up just two homers in 105 innings coming in, allowed three runs and five hits.

Sheffield, a former Padre, connected in the first for his 10th homer and Mondesi homered leading off the second, his 16th.

Gwynn, who missed the previous five starts because of a strained left calf, hit a two-run double to pull the Padres even in the third.

The Padres went ahead 3-2 without the benefit of a hit in the fourth. Wally Joyner walked, took second on a groundout, third on Charles Johnson's passed ball and scored on Park's wild pitch.

Notes: Dodgers ace Ramon Martinez will seek a second and third opinion on his injured right shoulder, trainer Charlie Strasser said. Martinez is scheduled to see Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday, then travel to see Dr. James Andrews, Tampa Bay's medical director. The Dodgers said Monday that an MRI exam revealed a cartilage tear and an increased tear in the right rotator cuff. He will miss his start Saturday. ... With backup catcher Greg Myers on the disabled list, the Padres have talked to a number of teams about catchers, including Boston regarding Jim Leyritz. . ... The last time Brown gave up two homers in a game was Aug. 8, 1996, to the Mets when he was with Florida. ... Hoffman's 29 straight saves are the fifth-most ever and the longest streak in baseball. Dating to '97, he has converted 48 of 49 save opportunities. ... LA first baseman Eric Karros jammed his knee sliding into third base in the fourth. Karros said his knee is OK.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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