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  Saturday, May 6 10:10pm ET
Hundley tops grand slam with throwout

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Todd Hundley has been hitting home runs a lot more frequently than he's been throwing out potential base stealers.

Hundley capped a six-run third inning with a grand slam Saturday night, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 9-6 victory over the Houston Astros. But he was more pumped about throwing out his first baserunner in 19 attempts this season.

"That was fun -- getting the first one out of the way," Hundley said. "It was a load off my shoulders. I'd been wondering when it was going to come."

Jeff Bagwell led off the fourth inning with a double and tried to steal third. But he was tagged out when Jose Vizcaino lunged to grab a wide throw by Hundley -- ending a collective 0-for-22 drought this season by Hundley and backup catcher Chad Kreuter.

"I used to be able to steal bases," Bagwell said. "I thought it was a no-brainer. I mean, they weren't holding me on and weren't paying attention to me, so I just went and I was thrown out by 10 feet. It didn't work out the way I planned it. That won't happen again."

Hundley, who underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in September 1997 that limited him to 53 games in 1998 with the New York Mets, threw out only 23 of 129 would-be basestealers last season and was booed by fans at Dodger Stadium whenever someone would steal on him.

"Throwing comes and goes," Hundley said. "You catch some breaks and then you don't, but you keep working at it and keep throwing. My arm's probably been back to 100 percent since last July or August."

Eric Karros hit a two-run homer, helping stake Darren Dreifort (2-1) to an 8-3 lead through five innings. The right-hander, who was given a 10-2 cushion to work with last Saturday night against Florida in his previous start -- only to end up with a no-decision -- was charged with five runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Mark Grudzielanek's ground-rule double and Hundley's sixth career grand slam were the only hits in the sixth by the Dodgers, who sent nine men to the plate and built a 6-1 lead against Octavio Dotel (1-3). The right-hander, who had to come out of his previous start after five innings because of a sore right hip, was charged with eight runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"It wasn't as bad as last time, but it was bothering me a little bit," Dotel said. "But that's no excuse. I didn't make my pitches. I lost my control in the third inning and I walked three guys."

Dotel walked two of his first three batters in the third before Alex Cora scored on a ground-rule double by Grudzielanek. Todd Hollandsworth came home on a groundout by Gary Sheffield, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Shawn Green was hit by a pitch and Karros walked, loading the bases, and Hundley drove a 2-2 pitch into the right-field seats for his sixth homer of the season and fifth in 14 games.

Ken Caminiti gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the second with his sixth homer, and Dreifort hit the next batter, Richard Hidalgo, on the arm. Hidalgo stared down Dreifort on the way to first base, but Hundley and plate umpire Gerry Davis intervened and no one came out of either dugout.

Dave Hansen tripled in the sixth and scored the Dodgers' ninth run on Grudzielanek's sacrifice fly.

Houston, which outhit the Dodgers 12-7, scored its other runs on an RBI single by Caminiti, run-scoring groundouts by Craig Biggio, Bill Spiers and pinch-hitter Daryle Ward and a ninth-inning passed ball by Hundley.

Game notes
Sixteen of Caminiti's 23 career home runs against the Dodgers have been hit in Los Angeles. ... Hidalgo has been hit by a pitch a major league-leading eight times in 115 plate appearances -- after getting plunked only seven times in 749 plate appearances prior to this season. He was hit three times on April 19 at Dodger Stadium -- twice by Orel Hershiser, who set a modern major league record that night by hitting four batters. ... Dotel, who totaled 20 strikeouts in 13 innings in his two previous starts against the Dodgers, fanned his first two batters and did not record another strikeout.


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