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Finley Finds Danger in Pitching on the Edge for This Team

ANGELS REPORT

August 26, 1999|CHRIS FOSTER

Maybe the Angels should have taken pitcher Chuck Finley off the trading block earlier.

Wednesday, in his fifth start since the trade deadline passed, he once again was impressive. He gave up three runs in seven innings and struck out nine in the Angels' 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

That his three-game winning streak came to an end was almost beside the point. He has a 1.64 earned-run average and has struck out 40 batters in 38 1/3 innings over his last five starts.

The Angels, though, provided only two runs, not that it bothered Finley.

"I always go out there expecting not to give up many runs," Finley said. "It keeps you sharp when you pitch on the edge like that."

Others, though, would like to see the pitching staff have a little more margin for error.

"Everyone is down because we're not scoring runs," outfielder Jim Edmonds said. "Our pitchers are pressing and trying to do too much. If we would just score some runs, it would take it off them."

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Finley was burned by Blue Jay outfielder Carlos Delgado, who erased a Angel lead with a two-run homer for the second consecutive day.

Delgado's homer in the sixth, which tied the score, 2-2, was his 11th in August. It tied the Blue Jay record for homers in the month. He also homered off Ramon Ortiz to wipe out a 1-0 Angel lead Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, Delgado had a four-game stretch against Texas in which he went 11 for 17 with five home runs.

"I feel I'm hitting pretty good, but I'm not seeing beach balls anymore," Delgado said.

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The Angels will remain cautious with Ortiz, not wanting to overdo--or overwork--a good thing. He will be limited to 115 pitches in his starts.

"We know what we got and we don't want to do anything to hurt him," Manager Terry Collins said. "He has already pitched a lot of innings this season. This kid has a great future, and we're not going to burn him in September."

Ortiz threw 108 pitches Tuesday.

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The Angels activated Darin Erstad and put reliever Mike Holtz on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. Erstad will play Friday in Boston.

Also returning to the lineup in Boston will be shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who sat out the last four games because of a sore right shoulder.

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