Angels Call Up Veteran Slugger Armas and Send Slumping Pettis to Edmonton

Times Staff Writer

The Angels called up veteran outfielder Tony Armas from their Triple-A affiliate at Edmonton Tuesday, and sent the slumping Gary Pettis to the Trappers.

Armas was in uniform for Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Anaheim Stadium. He took batting practice but did not play.

Pettis, batting only .204, will return to the team Sept. 1, when teams can expand their rosters to 40 players. He had only 5 hits in his last 54 at-bats, an .093 average.

Armas, signed by the Trappers July 10, hit .250 in 29 games with Edmonton. More importantly, as far as the Angels are concerned, Armas is hitting .333 since July 31.

Armas had been out of baseball for five months after becoming a free agent last November. No one wanted Armas, who hit .264 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs last season with the Boston Red Sox.

If his numbers weren't the problem, his legs were. Armas had a history of leg ailments., including a torn calf muscle in 1985. In 1986, he played in 121 games.

Is he what the Angels need to catch the division-leading Minnesota Twins?

Manager Gene Mauch believes so.

"When he's solid, strong, there's nobody he can't hit," Mauch said.

What Mauch and the Angels remember is Armas' 1984 season with the Red Sox, when he led the American League with 43 home runs and 123 RBIs.

Mauch said the plans are to play Armas in the outfield against left-handed pitching.

Pettis is to report to Edmonton Friday, Mauch said.

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