DODGING: Charges of simple assault filed against two Dodgers following a scuffle with a bartender at a Pittsburgh nightclub on June 21 were withdrawn yesterday as part of an out-of-court settlement.

None of the parties involved would discuss specifics of the agreement between the players, Juan Samuel and Alfredo Griffin, and Wilson Sturgeon Jr., the 26-year-old bartender.

Sturgeon told police the two players and an unidentified third person beat him until the altercation was broken up by security personnel and police. Sturgeon, who tried to pull Griffin from a dispute, had cuts on his face and neck.

DISCARDING: A judge in Covington, Ky., dismissed for lack of evidence charges against Cardinals farmhand Greg Mathews, who was on trial with current Cardinals Tom Pagnozzi and Frank DiPino for their part in a May 19 brawl at a service station.

Covington police officer Antonio Browning testified he saw Pagnozzi throwing punches into a crowd of people. Officer Anthony Williams testified that he saw DiPino holding a man in a headlock and punching him in the face.

The ballplayers said they were coming to the aid of a woman who had been attacked. Pagnozzi, DiPino and Mathews rejected an earlier offer to settle the affair by performing community service.

GNATS A PROBLEM: SkyDome's retractable roof has been closed during a game because of rain and cold but never because of gnats -- until last night.

Umpire Don Denkinger stopped the game for 35 minutes after Milwaukee's Teddy Higuera issued a leadoff walk to Junior Felix in the bottom of the fifth. "I've never seen anything like it," Denkinger said. "I've seen games called by rain, wind and snow, but never bugs."

Denkinger said the bugs weren't biting. "They're just flying around," he said. "But there are so many, it's impossible for not only the players, but the umpires as well."

Closing the roof and increasing the air conditioning seemed to lessen the problem.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Dave Parker of the Brewers and Roberto Kelly of the Yankees were selected in the AL. Ron Gant of the Braves was the NL pick.