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ANGELS FYI

Storm threatens series

August 18, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

CLEVELAND -- Though a possible hurricane awaits them, the Angels traveled as planned to Tampa Bay after Sunday's game.

The Angels and Rays are expected to play tonight in Tropicana Field, but with Tropical Storm Fay threatening to develop into a hurricane that could strike the west coast of Florida on Tuesday, the second and third games of the series could be in jeopardy.

If one or two games are postponed, they would probably be made up Sept. 1, the only common off day on the teams' remaining schedules.

"We'll wait and see what city and state officials say as far as evacuating," Manager Mike Scioscia said.

Rays President Matt Silverman told the St. Petersburg Times there is a "possibility" the Angels might travel to Atlanta or Miami after today's game to get out of harm's way, remaining close enough to return to Tampa Bay for a game Wednesday. "It all depends on the path of the storm," Silverman said.

Some Angels weren't thrilled about traveling toward the storm.

"I went through a hurricane in Fort Myers when I was in Class-A ball in 1995, and we didn't play for a week," center fielder Torii Hunter said. "I'm scared. People will be evacuating, and the dumb . . . Angels are going there."

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Turning points

The Cleveland Indians scored the winning run against reliever Justin Speier in the sixth inning Sunday when Sal Fasano doubled to right-center field, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Grady Sizemore's bloop single. Hunter nearly made a spectacular catch of Fasano's drive, racing to the gap and leaping at the wall, but the ball came out of his glove on impact.

"I hit that wall so hard I got dizzy and lost my breath," said Hunter, who injured his left knee slightly when he slammed into the wall in Boston in late July. "My whole world shook. I felt like I was going to throw up."

The Angels had a similar feeling in the ninth inning when they failed to score with runners on first and third and one out. Juan Rivera led off with a single, and pinch-runner Gary Matthews Jr. took second on Sean Rodriguez's bunt.

Pinch-hitter Kendry Morales singled to right field, but Matthews, who did not appear to get a great jump, held at third. "I don't think he could have scored on that ball," Scioscia said.

Chone Figgins popped to third base and Erick Aybar flied to left field to end the game.

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Close call

The Angels were lucky they didn't lose pitcher Joe Saunders to injury after a freak collision between the left-hander and second baseman Howie Kendrick in the third inning. Ryan Garko chopped a grounder over the mound for a run-scoring single that gave the Indians a 3-2 lead. Saunders raced behind the mound and lunged face-first into the grass as Kendrick's cleat clipped the back of Saunders' left shoulder.

"I knew the run would score if I didn't go after it, so I went for it," said Saunders, who gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings.

Was it wise for Saunders to go after the ball?

"In the heat of the moment," Saunders said, "if I'm the only one who can get to it, I'm going to go after it 110%."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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