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DODGER-ANGEL REPORT

Salmon to Karros: Sorry About That

June 16, 2002|Mike DiGiovanna and Chris Foster

Angel right fielder Tim Salmon apologized to Eric Karros on Saturday for the awkward collision that knocked the wind out of the Dodger first baseman Friday night.

As Salmon ran toward first on a sixth-inning foul popup between home and first and Karros rushed in to make the play, Salmon collided with Karros, sending the Dodger sprawling to the turf. Karros, who suffered chronic back problems in 2001, absorbed a nasty jolt but got up after a few moments and remained in the game.

"Salmon tried to ask if I was all right, but I really couldn't talk; I was just trying to get some air," Karros said. "It was one of those freak things. I was thinking how hard I worked this winter to get back on the field and how it would have been a shame to break a few ribs on a play like that."

Though the collision was clearly Salmon's fault--the fielder has the right of way on such a play--Karros did not fault Salmon.

"Did he do it on purpose? Absolutely not," Karros said. "He had his head down. He was probably frustrated he popped up and wasn't looking where he was going."

Salmon said he would have understood if Karros were upset.

"I just wanted to let him know that it was one of those things," Salmon said. "I was running hard with my head down and he was running hard with his head up. It's fortunate. It could have been a lot worse."

*

Dodger third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was demoted from the second to seventh spot in the order on June 1, was dropped to the eighth spot Saturday night. Beltre's average has slipped from .286 on May 16 to .248, and he leads the Dodgers with 10 errors.

"I just want to give him an opportunity to get himself going offensively," said Manager Jim Tracy, who met privately with Beltre on Friday night. "You do what you can to create the best environment to get himself out of it."

Tracy said he has not considered benching Beltre. Of course, the Dodgers don't have many attractive options at third, so they have little choice but to stick with Beltre. "I'm not a guy who goes to the panic button too quickly," Tracy said.

*

The swelling in Dodger pitcher Kevin Brown's surgically repaired right elbow is "minimal to nonexistent," Tracy said Saturday. The right-hander is also recovering from back surgery for a herniated disk and will be sidelined for at least a month and probably more.... Catcher Paul Lo Duca took a Kazuhisa Ishii wild pitch on the left forearm Friday night, the same spot he was hit by a bat on a swing in Atlanta in May, but the bruise did not prevent him from playing Saturday night.

*

Pitcher Kevin Appier, who has labored his last four starts, put in some extra work this weekend, trying to get back to the form that made him the Angels' most effective starter earlier this season.

Appier is 0-4 with a 6.41 earned-run average in his last four starts. His ERA has climbed from 2.96 to 3.87 in that time. Appier threw off the mound, trying to correct a flaw in his delivery, on Friday and did his regular bullpen work Saturday. He is scheduled to start Tuesday in St. Louis.

"We're trying to fix what has gone awry in his delivery," pitching coach Bud Black said. "He threw off flat ground [Friday] to try to get things worked out."

TODAY

ANGELS'

JARROD

WASHBURN

(6-2, 3.43 ERA)

vs.

DODGERS'

HIDEO

NOMO

(6-5, 3.60 ERA)

Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m.

TV--Channel 13.

Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090), KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

Update--Washburn has won his last six decisions. He has a 6.04 ERA in six appearances against the Dodgers. Nomo has won his last four decisions, after correcting some of the control problems that have plagued him earlier in the season. He gave up three runs and six hits and walked only two in six innings of a 10-5 victory over Tampa Bay Monday.

Tickets--(323) 224-1448.

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