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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Murray Now One of Six to Play in 3,000 Games

May 14, 1997|JOHN WEYLER

Designated hitter Eddie Murray became the sixth player to appear in 3,000 games when he came to the plate in the second inning Tuesday night, joining Pete Rose (3,562), Carl Yastrzemski (3,308), Hank Aaron (3,298), Ty Cobb (3,033) and Stan Musial (3,026).

He said he wasn't planning to ask Manager Terry Collins for the lineup card "because I've run out of wall space."

"[Playing in the majors] is a dream I've had since I was six years old," Murray said. "I had no idea it would be for this long, but when you're having fun, sometimes things have a way of going on."

Collins, who played nine seasons in the minors and never made a major league appearance, said he would have been happy to "get into one."

"But 3,000, that's really startling," he said. "The reasons he's still playing are obvious, though. He really loves the game and the competitive fires are obviously still burning."

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Was Troy Percival pumped up for his rehabilitation-assignment start with Class-A Lake Elsinore on Tuesday night? Collins was pretty sure he would be.

"I pity the first kid who steps in the batter's box," Collins said. "He's going to see his first 100-mph fastball. Hopefully, it won't be right at his chin."

Percival, out of action for a month with a nerve problem in his right shoulder, pitched the first inning against Modesto, struck out two and gave up one hit, a triple. He threw 20 pitches, 19 of them fastballs and 14 of them strikes.

"My arm didn't feel as live as I would've liked but I had real good control," Percival said. "All things considered, things went real well for the first time out.

"I'm pretty happy. But I'm looking to dominate, not just get outs."

Percival said he hoped to be back on the Angel staff by Friday, but Collins quickly dismissed that notion.

"He's going to make two or three rehab stints and since he's going to be off [today], it would be very difficult to get two or three outings in by Friday," Collins said, smiling. "Our goal is to have him on the team when we leave here."

The Angels begin a seven-game trip May 23 in Toronto.

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The last Angel reliever to pitch a rehab assignment in Lake Elsinore was Lee Smith, who was booed off the mound when he chose not to cover home plate after unleashing a wild pitch with a runner on third.

Smith, who said he had a limo with the engine running during that outing, refused to pitch in Lake Elsinore again, but the club wasn't offended by his snub.

In fact, a picture taken during Smith's one outing in a Storm uniform is on the cover of this year's media guide . . . a copy of which was mailed to Smith in Montreal, of course.

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