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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT

Now Batting for the Angels: Mike James?

May 31, 1997|ELLIOTT TEAFORD

Ten uncomfortable-looking men picked up bats and headed tentatively toward the batting cage at Anaheim Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Yes, it was time for the Angel pitching staff to take batting practice for the first time this season in anticipation of hitting in interleague games next month.

Hitting?

OK, swinging the bat.

"I'm telling you, if the commissioner sees this there will not be interleague play next year," third-base coach Larry Bowa bellowed after watching the, uh, action for a few moments.

Actually, there were three home runs hit. And no injuries were reported--except perhaps for a bruised ego or two.

Manager Terry Collins threw batting practice and gave instructions as best he could. The pitchers worked primarily on their bunting skills.

The pitchers also took their hacks just like the position players, who stood by and mocked their teammates.

Finley at last silenced the hecklers with a homer into the visitors bullpen. Mike Holtz and Allen Watson also cleared the right-field fence. Watson's homer landed well into the stands.

"He hit it off me," Collins said. "Unfortunately, he's got to face [Hideo] Nomo."

*

Right-hander Mark Gubicza's comeback from shoulder trouble has hit another roadblock, and he will not throw again until July 1.

Gubicza, who has only pitched twice this season after coming from Kansas City in a trade for Chili Davis last winter, experienced shoulder pain while on a rehab assignment last week in Mesa, Ariz.

He was examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum and it was determined that the best move would be to rest until July 1.

*

Jim Edmonds bruised his left knee sliding into third base in the fifth inning Thursday at Oakland and was limited to a pinch-hitting appearance Friday. Edmonds' status is day-to-day. Orlando Palmeiro started in center field instead of Edmonds.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' CHUCK FINLEY (2-4, 4.91 ERA) VS. TWINS' SCOTT ALDRED

(2-7, 6.68)

Anaheim Stadium, 7 p.m.

TV--Fox Sports West. Radio--KTZN (710).

* Update--Finley didn't get much support in his last start, a 6-0 loss to Detroit, but looked strong. He gave up four runs and six hits with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings. Finley is 13-12 with a 3.86 earned-run average and six shutouts in 28 starts against Minnesota. Second baseman Luis Alicea, troubled by a nagging right hamstring strain, was forced out of Thursday's game, did not play Friday and is expected to sit out tonight's game. That has given Tony Phillips a chance to show his versatility. Phillips filled in Friday for Alicea. Craig Grebeck also is a possible replacement.

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