Quote: "Eventually, after getting my butt kicked so many times, I had to learn from it." -- Matt Beech, whose Phillies lost the first 14 starts he made last year.

It's a fact: Two of the four players in the majors who have yet to ground into a double play are Pirates -- Tony Womack and Jermaine Allensworth.

Who's hot: Padres closer Trevor Hoffman has 28 straight saves over the past two seasons, the longest streak in the majors.

Who's not: The Dodgers trail the Padres by 9 1/2 games in the West, their biggest deficit since finishing the 1993 season 23 games behind the Braves.

On deck: The Braves play the Marlins today for the first time since losing Game 6 of the NL Championship Series last October. Only two Marlins who played that day are still on the team -- shortstop Edgar Renteria and second baseman Craig Counsell.

Pub Date: 6/16/98

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