STILL A HIT:

Fred Lynn, 38, is enjoying life as a pinch hitter for the San Diego Padres. His pinch single in the seventh inning Thursday night provided a 2-1 victory over the Braves. He has two singles and a walk in his last three pinch-hitting appearances.

"It's a mental thing," he said. "When you accept it mentally and know it's right for your ballclub and you, then you shouldn't have any problems. I think pinch-hitting is easier for an older guy. Younger guys all want to be out there because they think they are better than everybody. That's the way it should be. An older guy sees it as his role and accepts it. If you don't, you'll be looking for another job."

He began the season platooning in left field but that lasted only a month.

"I talked to him at the beginning of the season and told him his role could be almost anything," Manager Jack McKeon said. "It all depended on what some other guys did. I told him this week that things would probably stay the way they are."

TEAM BY TEAM:

The Rangers were 8-19 in May, their worst month since July 1983. . . . The Twins were 7-12 in April, 21-7 in May. . . . The Brewers have extra-base hits in 22 straight games. . . . The Giants have lost five straight at Candlestick Park. They are 6-16 there, the worst home record in the majors.

UPDATES:

The Royals' Bo Jackson hit his first major league inside-the-park homer Thursday against Oakland. . . . Outfielder Kirk Gibson has returned to Los Angeles and will continue his rehabilitation at Dodger Stadium. He made three starts in center field and two as a designated hitter for Class AAA Albuquerque. He had surgery Aug. 29 to repair a torn left hamstring. . . . Giants outfielder Kevin Bass, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday, likely will miss three months.

MOVES:

The Reds activated right-hander Rick Mahler (1-0, 5.49 ERA), out since May 17 with a strained quadriceps in his left leg.

BEST, AND THE REST:

The Albuquerque Dukes lead the Pacific Coast League with a .319 batting average. The second-best-hitting team in the league is the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at .277.