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BASEBALL EXTRA / INTERLEAGUE PLAY | NOTES

DODGER-ANGEL REPORT : Injuries to Erstad, DeLucia Not Serious

June 17, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA and CHRIS BAKER

A magnetic resonance imaging test and a nerve conduction test on Darin Erstad's sore left elbow revealed no serious damage Monday, and the Angel first baseman will be able to play as much as his pain will allow.

An MRI on reliever Rich DeLucia's sore right elbow also showed no serious injury, and DeLucia should be able to pitch against the Dodgers tonight if needed.

Erstad, who is batting .302 with seven home runs, 17 doubles, 36 runs batted in and a team-leading 12 stolen bases, has an irritation of the ulna nerve and an inflammation of the soft tissue in his elbow.

He was put on anti-inflammatory medication and will undergo therapy, but he was not put on the disabled list. Surgery will probably be necessary, but it appears Erstad, whose arm has been sore since spring training but worsened last week, will try to delay the procedure until after the season.

The elbow doesn't bother Erstad much when he's batting, so Manager Terry Collins will probably use him more often at designated hitter, meaning he'll have to juggle his lineup even more to keep regular DH Tony Phillips in games.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds, catcher Jim Leyritz and third baseman Dave Hollins can also play first base, and Collins can turn to DH Eddie Murray and utility player Jack Howell in an emergency.

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Angel closer Troy Percival's two walks in the ninth inning Sunday were his first in 12 2/3 innings since returning from a shoulder injury May 17. Percival has given up five hits and no runs in that span, lowering his earned-run average from 20.30 to 3.52 and recording two wins and five saves. . . . Veteran right-hander Kevin Gross made his second start for triple-A Vancouver on Sunday, giving up one unearned run and four hits in seven innings against Edmonton, striking out four and walking none. The Angels will probably decide later this week whether to recall Gross and send Matt Perisho or Dennis Springer to the minor leagues.

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Dodger outfielder Billy Ashley can't win for losing.

After the Dodgers demoted left fielder Todd Hollandsworth to Albuquerque last week, they could have employed Ashley in left, but rookie outfielder Karim Garcia has started two of three games since Hollandsworth was sent down.

Garcia, who had a two-run single in his first at-bat with the Dodgers after being recalled from Albuquerque, has three hits in eight at-bats with three RBIs.

Ashley, who has hit safely in his last 10 starts, went one for four, with a two-run double and a strikeout, in Sunday's 8-2 loss at Seattle.

"Taking nothing away from Billy, we're trying to get him as much time as we can; but right now we feel that Karim is going to be here and we need to see what he can do because there's an expansion draft coming up," Manger Bill Russell said.

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