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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS

Dickson Shows Collins His Stuff

March 01, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

The battle for the fifth spot in the starting rotation--one of few real competitions in camp--began Friday in Tempe, Ariz., when Jason Dickson pitched two scoreless innings in the Angels' 12-2 exhibition season-opening loss to the Oakland Athletics.

"I liked his outing," Manager Terry Collins said of Dickson, a 24-year-old right-hander. "When he gets behind on the count, he can throw a lot of different pitches and change speeds."

Dickson, who gave up two hits and struck out two, will battle Jim Abbott, Shigetoshi Hasegawa and knuckleballer Dennis Springer for the final rotation spot.

Dickson's performance was one of few bright spots for the Angels on a chilly, rainy afternoon in Tempe Diablo Stadium. Relievers Jeff Schmidt and Pete Janicki gave up five runs each, and Greg Gohr gave up two.

Oakland reserve Patrick Lennon, a 1986 first-round pick of the Seattle Mariners who was thought to have no chance of making the team, had three home runs and six runs batted in.

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Tim Salmon's forearms were so sore he could barely make a fist in each hand, so playing against the A's was out of the question.

"Everyone says it's because I've had too many papers to sign," joked Salmon, who agreed to terms on a four-year, $22.5-million contract extension Wednesday. "But I haven't even signed anything yet."

Salmon tried throwing and couldn't grip the ball. He tried swinging, but the bat flew out of his hands. He'll probably sit out today's game but hopes to return to the lineup Sunday.

"My forearms are just barking," said Salmon, who received extensive treatment on his arms Friday. "It's like I just did a major set of wrist curls and I'm pumped."

Trainer Ned Bergert said Salmon probably took too many swings this week.

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First baseman Darin Erstad was tested early when the first batter of the game, Alex Cole, drilled a grounder right at him. Erstad fielded it cleanly for the out. "I'm definitely feeling more comfortable there," said Erstad, who is moving from the outfield to the infield. . . . The Angels had only six hits, two of them and an RBI by Garret Anderson. . . . Mark Langston is scheduled to start against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale today and will be followed on the mound by Hasegawa, Springer, Robert Ellis and Chuck McElroy.

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