Shortstop Gary DiSarcina sat in front of his locker Friday, practicing a favorite pastime--sanding the black paint off the handles of his bats.
He does so to get a better grip.
"It might be my next career, shaving bats for the Cape Cod League," DiSarcina said. "I could sit on my porch with a beer. Guys would come by and I'd tell them, 'Ah, I'll be down at the park later.'
"I was never good in shop. I flunked because I couldn't build a birdhouse."
His skill was more toward swinging wood. DiSarcina was five for five Thursday, the second time he has done that this season. His first was on June 13 at Texas. It made DiSarcina the first player to have two five-for-five games in a season since Fred McGriff in 1996.
DiSarcina did it batting second in the order, a big change from the ninth--or eighth against National League teams--position he has been hitting in all season.
"You don't appreciate how tough hitting second is until you do it," DiSarcina said. "By the fifth inning, I'd been up three times and was winded. God forbid you do anything else, like field 10 ground balls too.
"It gives you a lot of respect for guys [who hit second] and do it well."
He went 0 for 4 Friday night.
Second baseman Randy Velarde rejoined the Angels Friday, a day after traveling to Midland to visit his ailing grandfather. Elias Velarde, 92, was diagnosed with leukemia last week.
Velarde arrived in Oakland at 12:30 p.m. Friday and was put into the leadoff spot.
ANGELS' STEVE SPARKS (9-4, 4.51 ERA) vs. ATHLETICS' GIL HEREDIA (3-3, 2.78 ERA)
Oakland Coliseum, 1 p.m.
Radio--KRLA (1110), XPRS (1090).
* Update--Sparks will try to bounce back from his two worst starts of the season. He went 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs against Texas on Sept. 17. Four days later he went 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs against the Rangers.