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Gwynn's 5-for-5 is by the (his) book

When Tony Gwynn went 5-for-5 Tuesday night, he did it mostly by the book _ his book. The Padres player said he has been struggling with his stance. He corrected it enough to hit four straight singles against the Cubs, then capped the Padres' 7-3 victory with a homer to right.

It was the ninth time Gwynn had five or more hits in a game: his career best was a 6-for-7 in 1993.

It raised his average from .321 to .360 and left the eight-time batting champion 188 hits shy of 3,000.

"It feels good because I really didn't hit the ball that hard and still managed to get a few hits, and it helped us win a game," Gwynn said. "But I've got a ways to go."

"He's amazing," Cubs 1B Mark Grace said. "Even when he doesn't hit the ball well, he still finds a way to get on base."

Noting that Gwynn is one of the best pure hitters he's ever seen, Grace added: "Nothing he does anymore surprises me."

Even Gwynn, a career .340 hitter, is prone to slumps, but they don't seem to last long. He was batting .297 on April 18 after a 4-for-21 skid.

"My feet are too fast, basically, is how it breaks down. And if you read my book, The Art of Hitting ," Gwynn said, laughing as he realized he was pitching the book.

Gwynn does have a new book (GT Publishing, written with Roger Vaughan). The forward is by Ted Williams, who wrote The Science of Hitting.

CARDINALS: OF Willie McGee robbed Montreal's F.P. Santangelo of a homer with a leaping catch above the leftfield wall. 1B Mark McGwire has walked a league-leading 27 times.

DODGERS: An office in Tokyo is the first opened in Asia by a major-league team. Eizaburo Kohrogi, assistant to new club president Bob Graziano, was named the team's director of Asian relations.

MARLINS: They optioned the contract of Ryan Jackson to Triple-A Charlotte, clearing the way for fellow rookie Derrek Lee to become the regular 1B. The team also will purchase the contract of RHP Donn Pall from Charlotte.

PHILLIES: OF Gregg Jefferies sat out a second straight game because of a strained ankle. OF Doug Glanville went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 14. The last Phillie to hit in more than that was Mariano Duncan (18, 1993).

REDS: Major League Baseball would be pleased if Marge Schott sells her share of the team, but it has not urged her to do so, the Associated Press reported. The Cincinnati Post reported that baseball is trying to persuade Schott to sell the team before her suspension is up on Nov. 1. Otherwise, the other owners would consider extending the length of her punishment, the newspaper said.

ROCKIES: Dante Bichette leads the league with a .420 average, but the cleanup hitter has just one homer. "I feel like I'm not going to miss a ball," he said. "I'm not going to change a thing. Don't ask me to change a thing."

_ TIMES WIRES

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