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Salmon Might Be Out for Game 3


MINNEAPOLIS — Angel outfielder Tim Salmon is unlikely to play Friday, when the American League championship series resumes in Anaheim, after leaving Wednesday's game because of tightness in his right hamstring.

Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' medical director, administered a cortisone injection Wednesday night to combat inflammation in the leg. The recovery period from such an injection is typically 48 hours, and Yocum said the chance was slim that Salmon could recover in time for Friday's game.

Salmon said he first felt a "grab" in the hamstring while chasing down a fly ball hit by Minnesota's Jacque Jones in the first inning and felt it again while running down a fly ball hit by Torii Hunter in the second inning. Salmon said he told no one except center fielder Darin Erstad, hoping the discomfort would go away.

When Salmon ran gingerly down the first base line in the third inning, as he flied out, Erstad told trainer Ned Bergert about the injury. The Angels, with a 4-0 lead, promptly removed Salmon, wanting to ensure he would not rupture the hamstring and miss the rest of the season.

Said Erstad: "I couldn't care for anybody more than Tim. I want him for the rest of the playoffs."

Without that lead, Salmon said, "I probably would have argued more, and it might have been the first time all year I won the argument."


The kid in the wheelchair does not speak, but he does smile. Say the name of his favorite player, the Angels' Dennis Cook, and watch the kid's eyes light up. The kid holds out his left arm at an awkward angle too, his way of sharing that his friend Dennis has an injury to his left arm. Nate Halsa, 5, was born with cerebral palsy.

In June, when the Angels played here, he and his father watched two games from the disabled seating section near the visiting bullpen. Cook chatted with Nate the first day, then brought him a cap autographed by the Angels the next day. Nate's father asked if Cook would stand next to the railing and take a picture with his son; Cook invited Nate onto the field after the game and posed with him there.

"It made his whole weekend," said Nate's father, Mike. "It's a small thing for Dennis to do, but it's a big thing for Nate."

The Minnesota kid and the Angel pitcher have stayed in touch. Mike Halsa sent Cook a copy of the picture, which the pitcher still keeps. Before Tuesday's first game of the championship series between the Angels and the Twins, the kid and the pitcher caught up, friends sharing a few moments near the visiting dugout.


Uh-oh: Angel coaches Mickey Hatcher and Joe Maddon were sitting on the bench before Wednesday's game, discussing the four-hitter thrown Tuesday by Minnesota pitcher Joe Mays.

"Any time a pitcher goes out there and throws a lot of off-speed pitches for strikes, especially a changeup, we have a tough time," said Hatcher, the Angel batting coach.

Besides Mays, the coaches were asked, which American League pitcher has a good changeup? The answer: Brad Radke.

Radke, scheduled to start Game 4 Saturday for the Twins, is 11-4 with a 1.72 earned-run average overall against the Angels. Mays is scheduled to start Game 5 Sunday.


Jackie Autry, who sold the Angels to Disney in 1996, said she is not interested in buying the team back, either by herself or as a minority investor in a partnership. She said she has rebuffed "several people" who invited her to join in a potential ownership group and said she is not willing to invest money in the franchise.

She said the baseball business is a bad one and that she had recently talked someone out of investing in a major league franchise. Disney has hired an investment bank to find a buyer for the Angels.


Manager Mike Scioscia said he had not ruled out bringing back ace Jarrod Washburn on three days' rest to start a possible Game 6.

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