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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Henderson Cast in Unfamiliar Role

September 14, 1997|CHRIS FOSTER

Rickey Henderson was not in his customary leadoff spot Saturday. It was the first time he has started for the Angels and not batted first. He batted seventh.

Henderson has been in the leadoff spot in 26 of 30 games since being acquired in a Aug. 13 trade with the San Diego Padres. He is baseball's all-time stolen base leader with 1,201.

"Every time Rickey has been traded it has been like he was the sole answer for everything," Manager Terry Collins said. "That can be a lot of pressure on anyone. This is a way to take some of that pressure off."

Henderson hit .295 after being acquired by Oakland in 1989. He hit .215 after being acquired by Toronto in 1993. The Athletics and Blue Jays won division titles in those seasons.

Henderson was hitless in three at-bats Saturday, dropping his batting average to .194 since coming to the Angels.

Tony Phillips was in the leadoff spot and went one for five, but twice stranded runners in scoring position.

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