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Piazza, Brown Hurt In LA Win

Kevin Elster received a hero's welcome at home plate after beating the New York Mets with a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.

It put a positive ending on a troublesome day for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"That's why you play for feelings like this," Elster said after Wednesday night's 4-3 victory. "Everyone in the clubhouse is feeling good about themselves right now."

Not quite everyone.

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  • Dodgers starter Kevin Brown was hit by a liner off the bat of Edgardo Alfonzo and left after six innings because of a bruised right leg. The ball was hit so hard it ricocheted into foul territory.

    Brown chased the ball down just outside the first-base line, grabbed it with his bare hand and in the same motion whipped an accurate sidearm throw to first base for the second out while flying toward the dugout and stumbling to regain his balance.

    He finished the inning, retiring Mike Piazza on a grounder, and went straight to the clubhouse. Alan Mills took the mound when the Dodgers went back out in the seventh.

    "You never want to come out of a game," Brown said. "I would liked to have stayed out there. But when they took a look at it, they were afraid that if I went back out there it was going to blow up even worse and make it that much more difficult to contend with.

    "Besides, it was hard for me to push off, so I don't think I would have been doing anybody any favors by going back out there."

    Brown allowed ne run and three hits and struck out five. His injury occurred just hours after the Dodgers placed catcher Todd Hundley on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained abdominal oblique muscle in his right rib cage.

    "We're in a streak of bad luck right now," Brown said. "Maybe we can weather it."

    Turk Wendell (4-3) relieved to start the ninth and struck out Eric Karros. But his next pitch to Elster was a slider down the middle and the former Mets shortstop drove it into the left-field bullpen for his eighth homer and first against his former team.

    "I don't make excuses," Wendell said. "I made a lousy pitch and he should have hit it out of the park. Actually, if you want to be truthful about it, Karros should have ended the game in the previous at-bat. But I got lucky."

    Reliever Mike Fetters (2-0) retired two batters in the top of the ninth to get the victory.

    Piazza was knocked out of the game in the sixth when Gary Sheffield's bat hit him on the follow-through. The seven-time All-Star catcher suffered a slight concussion and a gash on his forehead that required one stitch.

    The Mets said Piazza should be back in the lineup Friday when the team returns home to play Tampa Bay.

    Kreuter's homer and RBI singles by Shawn Green and Karros gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead against Mike Hampton.

    But the Mets tied it in the eighth against Alan Mills. Kurt Abbott led off with his first homer of the season and Alfonzo, who homered and had two RBIs, drove in pinch-runner Jon Nunnally with a double off the short fence in the right-field corner.

    Hampton gave up two earned runs and five hits in seven innings.


  • Brown was on the 15-day disabled list earlier this season after breaking his finger attempting to bunt at Shea Stadium.
  • Hundley became the fourth Dodgers' regular to be put on the DL this season, joining CF Devon White, SS Elster and 3B Adrian Beltre.
  • Hampton got his ninth hit of the season on a dribbler up the third-base line in the fifth.
  • Los Angeles manager Davey Johnson said he will give closer Jeff Shaw a few days off. Shaw, who blew a save for the fifth time Tuesday night, has been pitching for two weeks with a knot behind his right shoulder.
  • Alfonzo has five homers in 11 games.

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