AGAIN:

The Indians put first baseman Keith Hernandez on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1. It's the third time he has been on the list this season because of a bad leg.

The team doctors cleared him to play last week, but he declined and asked for a second opinion. Russell Warren, team doctor of the NFL New York Giants, examined him last weekend and confirmed that he was still hurt.

Ken Phelps, the Indians' other first baseman, seldom plays, thus outfielder Dion James, third baseman Brook Jacoby and recently recalled third baseman Jeff Manto have been splitting time at first.

JUSTICE PREVAILS:

After trading Dale Murphy to the Phillies last week, the Braves moved rookie Dave Justice into Murphy's spot in right field. Now Justice is playing like the man he replaced. He hit five home runs in three games against the Padres this week, including consecutive two-homer games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But he's not ready to compare himself with Murphy, Atlanta's all-time home run leader with 371. "I'm not even thinking about replacing Murphy," he said. "Nobody can replace him. But I feel like I can play in the majors, and once I get some consistency, instead of playing up and down, I'll be a better player."

Justice, who is hitting .259 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI, was playing first base before the Murphy deal even though right field was his natural position.

YANKEE BOUND:

Tim Leary will become a free agent at the end of the season and he's making it known he wants to return to the Yankees. "If they want me, I want to come back," he said Thursday after he and Lee Guetterman pitched a two-hitter to beat the Mariners and Matt Young, 1-0. "I just haven't seen any signs of that."

TURNAROUND:

The "Dump Bobby Valentine" campaign was raging two months ago. Now he seems to have turned the Rangers around. Since June 7 they have been the best team in the AL and have risen to third place in the West.

Owner George W. Bush says Valentine should be manager of the year.

"In all the years I've been here," said pitcher Charlie Hough, "this is the best legitimate team that we've put on the field.