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Chili Coolly Shuts Down Rangers : Angels: However, Davis' two-inning stint comes after 18 Texas runs.

June 18, 1993|SCOTT MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — When you use five pitchers and Chili Davis is the best of the lot, you know your staff has a place deep in the heart of Texas.

And when Davis produces the evening's first 1-2-3 inning, about all that is left to do is shake your head, smile and stick out a hand for Davis to slap.

Which is where the Angels, who were humiliated by Texas, 18-2, Thursday at Anaheim Stadium, were after Davis set Texas down in order in the top of the ninth.

Manager Buck Rodgers went looking for relief after Texas had batted in the seventh. Not wanting to burn what was left of his bullpen before tonight's game against Chicago, Rodgers handed the ball to Davis--who had pitched batting practice before the game.

Rodgers' advice? "I told him to put his cup on," Rodgers said.

That was about the best advice of the evening, considering Texas' 18 runs were the second most ever allowed by an Angel team.

But considering Davis' arsenal of pitches, it was a snap.

"I've got a fastball, change-up, forkball, curve, slider, knuckle-slider, knuckle-curve," Davis said dryly. "I had about seven pitches I could have used at any time."

There was a catch, though.

"The only one working was the fastball," Davis said. "I tried to throw the breaking ball, but you just kind of rush it up there. You fool around with different pitches playing catch, but it's not the same when you've got to face some guy with a bat in his hand."

Scouts may not be kind to Davis.

"I think I was at about 70 (m.p.h.)," Davis said. "I think I throw a little harder than (Dodger knuckleballer Tom) Candiotti, though."

And the bottom line was, he got the job done.

First up was Dave Hulse. Davis' first pitch was a ball inside, and then Hulse grounded to second. Doug Dascenzo followed with a fly to center before Davis plunked designated hitter Jose Canseco with what Davis said was his change-up.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't get a line drive hit back up the middle," Davis said.

For his part, Canseco said he was just hoping not to humiliate himself.

With a runner on first, Davis got Butch Davis to fly to right.

In the ninth, Davis got Rafael Palmeiro to ground to second and Dean Palmer to fly to center before Gino Petralli smoked a ball toward the right-field corner that nearly went for extra bases before Tim Salmon completed an impressive running catch.

How bad is pitching in this expansion year? Davis became the fourth position player to pitch this season, joining Canseco, Oakland's Kevin Seitzer and Angel teammate Rene Gonzales. Gonzales and Davis chatted just before Davis took the mound.

"He told me to just throw strikes and not to try and overpower anyone," said Davis, who became the third position player in Angel history to take the mound, joining Gonzales and Donnie Hill.

"I was laughing the whole time. I couldn't help it, man. I wouldn't want to do this for a living."

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