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June 19, 1997|CHRIS FOSTER

Angel Manager Terry Collins shuffled his starting rotation for the series against the Oakland Athletics.

Allen Watson is a scratch tonight because of flu. Jason Dickson, scheduled to start Friday, has been pushed back a day for a variety of reasons, including soreness in his right elbow.

Watson stayed home Wednesday, getting fluids from an IV. Matt Perisho will start in his place. Watson could come back Friday, depending on his condition. If he can't, the Angels may turn to Kevin Gross, who was signed on May 9.

Gross, a 14-year veteran, has made two solid starts for Vancouver, the Angels' triple-A team.

"The reports I'm getting show that Kevin has good command of his pitches," Collins said. "He made 71 pitches in seven innings in his last start. That shows he's throwing strikes."

Dickson, meanwhile, is experiencing some soreness in his elbow. But other factors are involved in the decision.

"We also wanted to give him an extra day," Collins said. "He has pitched a lot of innings already. It also means he will pitch against Seattle [next week]."


Outfielder Jim Edmonds, who is already playing on a damaged knee, has a tender hamstring to deal with as well.

"I'm sure it comes from overcompensating for the knee," said Edmonds, who played first base Wednesday. "There's nothing I can do but go out and play my best. When a game gets out of hand, maybe I can come out and get some rest."


Relief pitcher Rich DeLucia spent part of Tuesday in the hospital because of flu. DeLucia said he had been ill all Monday night and went to the hospital at 8 a.m and checked out at 12:30 p.m.

"I was pretty much out of it for 24 hours," DeLucia said. "I came home and went to sleep."

DeLucia was unconcerned about the soreness in his right elbow, which he said was caused by a bone spur.

"I had the same thing in 1986 and pitched the rest of the season," DeLucia said. "I had surgery the next year. The doctor said these things reoccur every 10 years and he was right."


* Opponent-Oakland Athletics, four games.

* Site--Anaheim Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports West, tonight, Saturday and Sunday.

* Radio--KTZN (710).

* Records--Angels 34-34, A's 29-41.

* Record vs. A's--2-0.

MATT PERISHO (0-2, 8.20 ERA) vs. STEVE KARSAY (1-7, 5.59 ERA)

* Update--For the Angels, it's not only back to the American League, but back to their division. They will play 12 games in 12 days against Oakland, Texas and Seattle. But the Angels aren't exactly at their best health-wise for this important stretch. Their starting rotation, already weakened because injuries to Mark Langston and Mark Gubicza, has been hit by flu. Chuck Finley had it earlier in the week and Allen Watson has it now. Watson is doubtful for tonight. The A's have a potent lineup that has hit 90 home runs, led by Mark McGwire's 25. But their pitching staff has hurt them. Teams are batting .305 against the A's. Among their starters, only Ariel Prieto has a winning record.

* Friday, 7 p.m.--Undecided vs. Don Wengert (3-4, 5.06)

* Saturday, 7 p.m.--Jason Dickson (8-3, 3.31) vs. Ariel Prieto (5-4, 4.64)

* Sunday, 1 p.m.--Chuck Finley (3-5, 5.02) vs. Mike Oquist (1-2, 3.56).

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