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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Erstad to Have More Tests on Shoulder

September 15, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

A manager visiting the mound is routine in baseball, but fans in Anaheim Stadium had to be perplexed Sunday when Terry Collins hopped onto the field and pulled Darin Erstad out of the batter's box for a conversation in the fourth inning.

What triggered Collins' visit was Erstad's awkward swing at the previous pitch, a sign to Collins that Erstad's injured right shoulder was bothering him again.

Erstad remained in the game and flied to the wall in right, but Collins pulled him in the top of the fifth, moving Jack Howell from third base to first and inserting Luis Alicea at third.

Erstad, who suffered a hyper-flexed shoulder when he dove for a grounder Tuesday night in Toronto, will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test today and is expected to sit out tonight's game against Minnesota.

"He said he lost feeling in his shoulder, and that tells you something is wrong," Collins said. "This kid has too bright a future to risk a serious injury. You can get caught up in a pennant race, but we also have to keep this kid healthy."

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If you're wondering why third-base coach Larry Bowa chewed out Gary DiSarcina after DiSarcina's botched suicide-squeeze attempt in the 12th inning of Saturday's 3-1 loss, it wasn't because DiSarcina missed a sign. He didn't.

Bowa was upset because DiSarcina didn't initially look over to get the sign before the 1-and-2 pitch. When Bowa shouted, "Gary!" to get DiSarcina's attention and flash the sign, that apparently tipped off the Royals that the squeeze play might be on.

Royal reliever Gregg Olson pitched out and DiSarcina struck out trying to bunt the pitch far out of the strike zone.

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The swelling in Jason Dickson's right elbow went down considerably, and the pitcher regained enough range of motion to play catch Sunday, one day after he was drilled by a Larry Sutton liner.

Dickson, who gave up only one run and four hits and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings Saturday, is confident he'll be able to make his scheduled start Thursday, but Collins may push him back two days and start Darrell May in his place against Oakland.

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The Angels wore their regular home uniforms Sunday with their alternate caps, the ones with the powder blue bills, but Collins said they won't continue to wear them despite Sunday's victory. "A lot of guys don't like them," Collins said. . . . Reliever Mike James pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning Sunday to gain the victory, improving to 5-5. . . . The Angels, in an effort to beef up their Latin American scouting efforts, have hired George Lauzerique for the newly created position of Latin American Coordinator. Lauzerique, a 50-year-old native of Havana, Cuba, has scouted 16 years for Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia.

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