Omar Olivares has seen increasing numbers of teammates parade into the weight room in recent years, but he stayed out, figuring it doesn't make sense to fix what isn't broken.
"I was always afraid I'd get hurt," said Olivares, a veteran of parts of nine major league seasons who was signed as a free agent during the off-season.
But since coming to the Angels, he has begun lifting and now that he's part of the starting rotation, he's hoping he'll reap some benefits from increased stamina and maybe even from an extra mile-per-hour or two on his fastball.
"I see a lot of people doing it, so I decided to try, starting with real light weights," he said. "Maybe it will help my arm strength."
Olivares, who will start Friday against Minnesota, is coming off a 6 2/3-inning, two-hit outing Sunday and figures he's almost ready to go the distance.
"It usually takes me five or six starts to be ready to go nine, but I feel like I could throw between 100 and 120 pitches right now," he said. Olivares had three complete games in 19 starts with Detroit last year and lasted eight or more innings eight times in 25 starts in 1996.
Troy Percival, after a night to ponder what went wrong Tuesday during his wild and thoroughly ineffective performance, still had no clue.
"I really don't know," said Percival, who gave up two hits and two runs while walking three and blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning of 4-3 victory over Oakland Tuesday. "I kept feeling like I would turn it around with the next pitch, but I was just really [bad]. I had no idea where it was going.
"I've blown some one-run leads, but that was as bad as I've ever pitched in my career."
Percival was still able to greet reporters with a smile after Tuesday's game, however, thanks to his teammates' 10th-inning rally.
"That was huge," he said, "The way things have been going for us, we could've easily rolled over right there."
To make room for tonight's starter Jack McDowell, the Angels optioned Frank Bolick to triple-A Vancouver. . . . Phil Nevin wasn't behind the plate Wednesday night, but he probably wished he was. In four starts catching Ken Hill, he has three home runs and seven runs batted in.
ANGELS' JACK McDOWELL (1-2, 4.06 ERA)
A'S BLAKE STEIN (1-1, 1.29 ERA)
Edison Field, 7 p.m.
TV--Fox Sports West.
Radio--KRLA (1110), XPRS (1090), KIK-FM (94.3).
* Update--McDowell, who has been on the disabled list since April 27 because of an inflamed elbow, says he has no idea how many innings he can last. "I'll just take the ball and go as far as I can," he said. But Manager Terry Collins is confident McDowell is ready to make a quality start. "He threw really free and easy [in the bullpen Sunday]," Collins said, "and he felt fine afterward. He said there was no pain at all." Stein, one of three pitchers the A's got from St. Louis in the Mark McGwire trade, will be making his third major league start. He pitched well in the first two--both against the White Sox--giving up 10 hits but just two earned runs in 14 innings. He has struck out 12 and walked only three.