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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS

Fabregas Finds the Road to Recovery

August 26, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

On the road trip that just ended, catcher Jorge Fabregas went 13 for 25 (.520) with seven RBIs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He threw out four of the seven runners who attempted to steal off him. He tagged two runners out at home, one after a violent collision.

"It was the best road trip of my life," Fabregas said. "I'm from the East [Miami]. I like the East."

Two months ago, Fabregas was in the Northwest after his demotion to triple-A Vancouver, but since being recalled in mid-July he has been more of a force behind the plate.

Fabregas has also flourished offensively since Aug. 12, raising his average from .253 to .289 and restoring the confidence teammates and coaches appeared to lose in him in April, May and June.

Fabregas had a key single and scored in the Angels' seven-run fourth inning Sunday, he singled and scored in the fifth and added a double in the eighth for his second three-hit game of the trip.

"It's not just his hitting, it's the whole picture," interim Manager Joe Maddon said. "He's catching well, throwing well, getting some big hits. . . . He feels good about himself."

*

Randy Velarde's grand slam--his 10th homer of the season after nine solo shots--was the big blow of the fourth, but Oriole pitcher Scott Erickson contributed to his downfall Sunday with a fielding blunder.

With the bases loaded, one out and Baltimore trailing, 2-0, George Arias topped a grounder to Erickson's right. Instead of gloving the ball, Erickson tried to make a bare-hand catch, and the ball nicked off his hand, allowing a run to score.

Velarde then smashed a 2-0 fastball that was up and over the plate into the center-field bleachers for his grand slam and a 7-0 lead. Jim Edmonds then doubled, and Erickson was pulled from the game.

"He had his good stuff working," Tim Salmon said, "but we got lucky when he tried to bare-hand that ball. The game got away from them after that."

*

Manager John McNamara spent his fifth day in a New York hospital because of a blood clot in his right calf, and doctors still had not determined when he would be able to return to Anaheim. . . . The Orioles did not homer in three games against the Angels, marking the first time this season they did not homer in a series. They had only eight baserunners Sunday--one was caught stealing, one was wiped out on a double play, and one was eliminated on a force play. "You're all used to covering football games," Baltimore Manager Davey Johnson said. "We didn't have much time of possession."

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