YUMA, Ariz. — A 7-1 defeat by San Diego wasn't the Angels' most serious loss Saturday.
Juan Beniquez, playing left field, suffered a severe pull of his right groin when he slipped fielding Steve Garvey's single in the fifth inning.
Beniquez left the game and will be examined again today by the Padres' team physician. Beniquez said he was out 3 1/2 weeks with a 1979 groin pull but didn't think Saturday's was as severe.
Said Manager Gene Mauch: "This is the first negative feeling I've had this spring. A pull like that can linger like hell. It's a delicate area. You can't lift the leg, you can't do anything."
Mauch implied that his concern is with the first base situation.
Beniquez has been working there this spring in the event 1) Daryl Sconiers did not report and 2) Rod Carew, 39, suffers injuries of the type that restricted him to 93 games last year.
Sconiers is expected Monday, but Mauch reflected on the Beniquez injury and said:
"We put Juan at first as a solution, but now the solution has become a problem.
"Maybe there's nothing to worry about. Maybe Rod will take care of it himself. I just want some options in case the things that happened last year happen again."
Angel Notes Injuries? The Angels are suddenly in midseason form. In addition to Juan Beniquez, catcher Bob Boone, 37, was unable to make the Tucson-Yuma trip because of a groin pull that is not believed serious, and Tommy John was scratched as today's starter because of a lower back strain that developed after a three-inning stint Thursday. John received an anti-inflammatory injection Friday and remained in Mesa, missing the Tucson-Yuma bus swing. Said Manager Gene Mauch: "The report I got today is that T.J. is amazingly better. They say he just doesn't like busses." . . . Ron Romanick pitched three shutout innings as Saturday's starter, but the Padres jumped on southpaw Ken Angulo (4 hits and 3 runs in 1 innings) and right-hander Julian Gonzalez (who worked 1 innings, yielding three hits, a walk and four runs) . . . Second base prospect Mark McLemore continued his spring sing by going 2 for 4 with three RBIs in a 5-5 'B' game tie. McLemore is 9 for 17 with seven RBIs.