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Davis No Help for Angels Against the Blue Jays, 8-0

June 02, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chili Davis trotted off the field in the sixth inning Tuesday night during the Angels' 8-0 defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays, and for the first time this season, heard the sound.

Boos, growing louder and louder from the crowd of 18,198 at Anaheim Stadium, rained until Davis reached the dugout. Davis, whom the Angels acquired as a free agent during the winter to be their veteran cleanup hitter, slammed his helmet into the rack in disgust.

One of the most popular players among his teammates, Davis understands the fans' sudden frustration. He's not happy with himself, and on a night when nothing went right for the Angels, he was the convenient target.

While Davis has emerged as the mentor for many of the Angels' youth inside the clubhouse, he still is struggling to find his game on the field as the everyday designated hitter. He went hitless in four at-bats, hitting into two double plays and stranding six baserunners.

Entering the game batting .302 with runners in scoring position, Davis failed twice in critical situations. He grounded into a double-play with runners on first and third in the fourth inning, and in the sixth, came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded.

It was the first time the Angels (27-22) had the opportunity to get back into the game, taking advantage of reliever Mark Eichhorn's wildness when starter Al Leiter left because of a blister on his pitching hand. Davis, knowing that a hit could make things interesting, instead grounded to second baseman Roberto Alomar, who quickly turned an inning-ending double play.

The crowd responded with boos.

Davis' batting average dropped to .217 by the end of the night, second-lowest among Angel regulars. He still has 29 runs batted in and is on pace to drive in a career-high 96 runs, but the first two months hardly have gone as he envisioned.

"I'm not going to evaluate my season until it's over," Davis said, "but I'm certainly not satisfied now. I've driven in my share of runs and all that, but I know I can do better than this."

The Angels are wondering what is happening after losing back-to-back games to the Blue Jays by a combined score of 18-5. It's the first time this season they have even lost consecutive games at home to the same opponent, let alone been routed twice in a row.

"I don't know if this is a freak of nature here or what," Angel Manager Buck Rodgers said, "but I do know they've kicked our (behind) two nights in a row."

The Angels managed only two hits off Leiter and three Blue Jay relievers; and starter Scott Sanderson (7-3) was the latest victim of Toronto's power show. The Blue Jays, who turned Memorial Day into a home-run hitting contest among themselves, were at it again Tuesday.

Joe Carter led off the second inning with a single, setting the stage for John Olerud, who hit his third homer in two days deep into the right-field seats for a 2-0 lead. That made Olerud the 12th Blue Jay in history to hit homers in three consecutive games.

Third baseman Ed Sprague, who homered Monday, hit Sanderson's next pitch into the left-field seats, paving the way for the Blue Jays' fourth consecutive victory.

The Blue Jays lead the American League with 63 home runs--nearly twice the Angels' total of 36--and only the Tigers have scored more runs.

Left fielder Luis Polonia was the lone Angel to get a hit until the ninth inning, but he left the game in the fourth when he sustained a bruised right hand while breaking up a double play and is expected to miss today's game.

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