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BASEBALL EXTRA

Early End to Trip for Langston

Angels: Inflamed left elbow forces starter to return home for examination.

May 01, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BOSTON — The triage known as the Angel clubhouse took on another casualty Wednesday when pitcher Mark Langston, suffering because of an inflamed left elbow, returned to Southern California to be examined today by team physician Lewis Yocum.

Langston, who threw 116 pitches in six innings of the Angels' 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, said the injury feels a lot like a 1994 setback, when the left-hander underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow and missed five weeks.

"I experienced the same stuff in 1994, but I don't know if this is the same thing," said Langston, who is 1-2 with a 4.63 earned-run average. "I won't really know until after I see Yocum. I know it's not a ligament [problem] or anything. I'm hoping it's extremely inflamed, and that's all."

Langston will miss his next scheduled start, Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, and Manager Terry Collins said Japanese right-hander Shigetoshi Hasegawa would likely replace Langston in the rotation.

If Langston has to go on the disabled list for the sixth time in his 14-year career, Collins could replace him with a triple-A starter, such as Robert Ellis (3-1, 2.87 ERA), Geoff Edsell (2-2, 7.50) or Fausto Macey (1-2, 8.10), or he could continue to start Hasegawa and call up another reliever.

"I'm concerned that this is going to keep Mark out for a lengthy period of time," said Collins, who is awaiting the return of pitchers Mark Gubicza and Troy Percival from the disabled list and first baseman Darin Erstad from a hamstring injury. "When I took him out [Tuesday night] he said his elbow was bothering him a bit. That was the first I'd heard of it."

Langston, however, said his elbow actually began bothering him after he threw seven innings against Toronto on April 23.

"I just had some stuff in there and it was kind of tight," Langston said. "It was tender before [Tuesday night's] game, and it definitely felt worst after the game."

Gubicza was hit hard for two starts before he told Collins he was experiencing shoulder pain, and Percival tried to come back too soon from his spring shoulder injury, suffering a setback that landed him on the disabled list April 7.

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