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McCaskill Exits Early, but Wins

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Kirk McCaskill earned his second victory in his past seven outings Saturday, but he wasn’t able to enjoy it completely.

Presented with more offensive support than in his previous six starts combined, McCaskill appeared certain to go nine innings for the first time this season. Stiffness in his elbow forced him to leave after 5 1/3 innings, but that was enough for him to be credited with the victory in the Angels’ 8-3 rout of the Texas Rangers at Anaheim Stadium.

McCaskill (4-3) gave up one run and five hits before exiting. The 29-year-old right-hander was forced to miss a start on May 16 for the same reason, but it was not immediately clear whether the problem he experienced Saturday was the same as his previous ailment.

The Angels used home runs by Brian Downing, Rick Schu and Dick Schofield to build a 7-1 lead through six innings, the 10th time this season they have hit three or more homers in one game. Each homer was distinctive: Downing’s home run led off the game and was the 19th leadoff homer of his career, Schu’s homer was his second in two nights and Schofield’s was his first hit of the season in 11 at-bats.

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Schu’s homer highlighted a five-run fourth, the Angels’ best single-inning production this season. In that inning, the Angels chased Texas starter Mike Jeffcoat (1-2), who had pitched a complete game against them last Saturday in a 6-3 Ranger victory at Arlington, Tex.

Mark Eichhorn, who pitched the final inning, was making his sixth appearance in nine days.

The Angels struck at their first opportunity against Jeffcoat, as Downing lofted a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats. It was his fourth home run of the season and his first leadoff homer since April 5, 1989 against the Chicago White Sox.

The Angels stirred again in the fourth, scoring their five runs after two were out.

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Chili Davis drew a leadoff walk and after Dave Winfield flied to center, moved to third on Dante Bichette’s ground out. Davis scored on Lance Parrish’s line single to left. Schu took two balls and then slammed a 406-foot home run to left-center, his fourth homer of the season.

Schofield walked and went to second when Downing singled to center, which was enough for Texas Manager Bobby Valentine. He sent for Jamie Moyer, who didn’t fare much better. Moyer walked Donnie Hill to load the bases and gave up a two-run single to Wally Joyner, who was back in the lineup after missing Friday’s game because of a sore right knee.

McCaskill faltered a bit in the fifth, when Harold Baines and Pete Incaviglia lined back-to-back singles, but he got out of trouble by getting John Russell to fly to center and Steve Buechele to hit into a force play. However, he wasn’t as fortunate in the sixth, as Texas ended his shutout and ended his evening after 5 1/3 innings.

Former Angel Gary Pettis led off with a fly to the warning track in left that flew over the glove of left fielder Davis for a triple. Jeff Huson walked on four pitches, but McCaskill got Rafael Palmeiro to take a third strike. Franco lined a 3-1 pitch just past McCaskill’s head, scoring Pettis, and Huston scrambled to third when the ball hopped out of Bichette’s glove in center.

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Angel pitching coach Marcel Lachemann promptly came out of the dugout to take out McCaskill and bring in Scott Bailes, who got Ruben Sierra out on a popup to short left. Franco stole second but was stranded there as Bailes got Baines to ground back to him for an easy relay to first.

Schofield extended the lead to 7-1 in the sixth, when he propelled a 3-1 pitch from Moyer into the left-field bullpen. It was his first home run since last July 25 at Oakland and his first at Anaheim Stadium since last July 22 against Detroit.

The Rangers produced an even better display of home run power in the seventh inning. Incaviglia led off by blasting Bailes’ first pitch to deep center for his 10th home run of the season and Russell followed by hitting his first homer of the season, also on the first pitch, to left-center. That brought Lachemann to the mound for a conference. Whatever he said was effective, as Bailes retired the next three batters.

The Angels padded their lead to 8-3 in the seventh without a hit. A pair of walks, a ground out and a passed ball brought Winfield in with that last run.

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Angel Notes

Second baseman Johnny Ray was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right shoulder, and third baseman Jack Howell was activated after recovering from a sprained left knee. available. . . . Kent Anderson (sprained right shoulder) is eligible to be activated Monday and said he expects to be ready. Anderson was put on the 15-day DL on May 20 and later shifted to the 21-day list. . . . Mark McLemore, who was sent to Triple A Edmonton on May 24 on rehabilitation, was transferred to the 21-day DL after spraining his right wrist again.

The Angels signed five draft picks, including 24th-round selection Don Barbara of Cal State Long Beach, a first baseman who was the Big West Player of the Year, and catcher Eric Buechele of Servite High School and Fresno State. Also signed were second-round pick Phillip Leftwich, a right-handed pitcher at Radford University, third-rounder Brandon Markiewicz, a shortstop from Dixie Hollins High School and 16th-round pick Wayne Johnson, a shortstop from Oklahoma Christian College.


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