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Salmon a Designated Fielder

September 10, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Manager Terry Collins had hoped to use right fielder Tim Salmon as the designated hitter for both games in Toronto, so Salmon wouldn't aggravate a slight strain of his lower right Achilles' tendon while playing on SkyDome's artificial turf.

But the combination of Garret Anderson's sluggish play in right field in the Angels' 12-10 loss Monday night and the desire to give struggling leadoff batter Rickey Henderson a night off meant Salmon, whose foot has been bothering him for about two weeks, was back in the outfield Tuesday night.

Anderson returned to left field, Luis Alicea started at second base, and Tony Phillips went from second base to designated hitter. Anderson didn't commit any errors Monday, but he had problems making throws to the infield on several balls hit toward the gap.

"Garret didn't look real comfortable in right field," Collins said. "It's just a different park. . . . I don't think it was the turf as much as it was the stadium, being in a dome. Even though the roof was open, it's a real different backdrop."

Henderson is batting .218 since the Aug. 13 trade that brought him from San Diego. He has 20 walks, a .376 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases, but is six for 35 (.171) in his last 10 games. He also made a costly baserunning blunder Monday night.

Henderson was on second and Phillips was on first with two out in the sixth and Salmon, the Angels' best hitter, at the plate. Henderson nearly took off for third on Omar Daal's first pitch before retreating to the bag, and he got another good jump toward third on an ensuing pitch but held up.

Toronto catcher Benito Santiago, who has one of baseball's best throwing arms, fired a bullet to second to pick off Henderson and end the inning.

Then Salmon led off the seventh inning with a double. Ouch.


Pitcher Mike Bovee split this season between double-A Midland and triple-A Vancouver, but the right-hander may find himself right in the thick of a major league pennant race next week.

Collins will need a fifth pitcher again Monday night against Minnesota, but with the Twins sporting a predominantly right-handed lineup, Collins said he might replace left-hander Darrell May with Bovee in the rotation.

If Dennis Springer pitches well Thursday night against Kansas City, Collins said he might also consider bringing the knuckleballer back on three days' rest to pitch against Minnesota on Monday.


Toronto left fielder Jose Cruz Jr. did not play Tuesday night because of a sore left hip. . . . Angel pitcher Allen Watson got so mad after giving up a grand slam in Saturday's loss to Detroit that he ripped off his jersey in the Angels' Tiger Stadium dugout. "I've never been that mad," he said, "but I knew the game wasn't on TV, so I figured no one would see it." . . . Salmon's homer Monday night was his 30th and marked the fourth time in his career he has hit 30 homers or more in a season. He is the only player in Angel history to accomplish that feat.

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