Strawberry takes healthy outlook into Pirates series


CHICAGO -- Rightfielder Darryl Strawberry said his left shoulder felt good after returning to the lineup with two hits last night after a seven-game absence. It seems only to be aching to face the Pirates.

The Dodgers (33-23) lead second-place Atlanta by 2 1/2 games in the NL West as they open a big three-game set with East-leading Pittsburgh tonight. They hit Three Rivers Stadium on a roll, having scored 19 runs in the last two games after driving in just 15 in the previous six.

"We're not going to make a big issue about it," Strawberry said of the showdown of divisional leaders. "Just play the way we've been playing. We don't have to put extra pressure on ourselves because we're in first and they're in first.

"I think our approach has to be an aggressive approach. I'll be up for them because I know a lot of situations I've been in where I've hurt them, and they do remember from when I was with the Mets."

And talk that this is a playoff preview?

"We've got to get there first," Strawberry said with a smile.

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