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Abbott Makes Progress Against Giants

March 07, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Jim Abbott looked glum as he stood in the middle of the visitors' clubhouse Thursday at Scottsdale Stadium. He wasn't about to start celebrating simply because he pitched three shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants.

He realizes it will be difficult for him to earn the fifth spot in the Angel rotation this spring.

"It's another step," said Abbott, trying to rebound from a 2-18 record and 7.48 earned-run average last season. "I'm not going to say everything is perfect. I'd like to be perfect, but I'm not. I want to be able to take a small step each time I pitch."

Abbott gave up three hits with one strikeout and three walks against a Giant lineup that did not include Barry Bonds, J.T. Snow or Jose Vizcaino. Abbott threw 39 pitches, including 21 for strikes.

Given last season's record and a rocky first spring-training appearance, it's no wonder Abbott seemed reserved Thursday.

Forgive him. Times have been tough.

"If you stay disciplined, and I have tried to be, you don't judge the results but you judge how well you throw the ball," Abbott said. "I threw the pitches I needed to throw to be effective."

Finally, someone asked Abbott about stepping into the batter's box to face San Francisco starter Osvaldo Fernandez in the second inning. He laughed off his strikeout. "He got the better of me there," Abbott said.


The Angels (0-7) still can't win. This time, they let a 4-0 lead slip away, lost two popups in the sun in the ninth inning and were beaten by the Giants, 6-5.

Former Cal State Fullerton standout Dante Powell of the Giants delivered a run-scoring double off reliever Pete Janicki in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run.

"If winning were all that mattered here I would have brought in Troy Percival from his apartment to pitch the ninth inning," Manager Terry Collins said.


Third baseman Dave Hollins continues to impress Collins. He had a two-run homer and a double and scored three runs. "Dave Hollins is really going to help us," Collins said. . . . First baseman Darin Erstad had two doubles and a single and outfielder Kevin Bass had a bases-empty homer, a run-scoring sacrifice fly and a run-scoring double. . . . Left-handed reliever Mike Holtz, slowed by shoulder tendinitis, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning in his first appearance this spring. . . . Jorge Fabregas, expected to share the catching duties with Jim Leyritz this season, agreed to terms on a contract for 1997.

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