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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Finley Says He's Willing and Able

September 27, 1995|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Chuck Finley's assignment for today: Come back on three days' rest after throwing 124 pitches against Texas on Saturday night and beat the Seattle Mariners, baseball's hottest offensive team, before a capacity crowd in the din of the Kingdome.

Finley's reaction: What, me worry?

"I'll be OK," said the Angel left-hander, who takes a less-than-sparkling 13-12 record and 4.42 earned-run average into the game. "I could pitch on six hours rest if I had to. Just give me enough time for the Advil to turn over in my stomach, and I'll be fine."

Finley, who hasn't won a game since Aug. 24 and has been hit hard in five of his last six starts, is fully aware of the game's implications. If the Angels lose, they'll fall four games behind the Mariners with four to play, and a loss will further damage their wild-card hopes.

"But if I go out there with anything else in my head, it's going to be tough to pitch," Finley said. "I just have to treat it as another game."

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Mariner right fielder Jay Buhner's bases-empty blast off Mike James, which landed deep in the left-center field bleachers in the fifth inning Tuesday, was his 38th homer of the season and 12th homer this September, which broke the team record of 11, set by Gorman Thomas in July 1985.

Buhner, who had an RBI single in the third inning and a single in the second, increased his RBI total to 118 to set another team record, breaking Alvin Davis' 1984 mark of 116 RBIs.

Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. also continued his strong comeback from a wrist injury, with two hits and three RBIs. He now has 14 hits in his last 32 at-bats (.438) with four homers in his last six games.

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Angel Manager Marcel Lachemann said pitcher Mark Langston, scratched from today's game because of tenderness in his shoulder, will start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics in Anaheim. Langston said he could have pitched today, "but he [Lachemann] didn't want me out there unless I was closer to 100%."

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Angel shortstop Gary DiSarcina felt Tuesday's game turned when he lined into a double play with runners on first and second to end the top of the third inning. The Mariners then scored three in the bottom of the third. "The momentum of that play carried over to the offensive side for them," he said. "That's how we used to play.". . . Two bright spots for the Angels Tuesday: Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who was 3 for 25 with 10 strikeouts on this trip, singled twice, and catcher Greg Myers had three hits, including a homer that landed in the second deck in right field in the ninth.

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