Angels Left in Holding Pattern : Baseball: Rain-delayed game against Rangers finally suspended after eight innings. It will resume today tied, 5-5.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Angel first baseman Eduardo Perez sat in the clubhouse during the 2-hour 48-minute rain delay Tuesday night, and frankly, didn't care whether the game ever resumed.

He would not be playing anyway against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington, nor will he be playing today when the suspended game resumes in the ninth inning with the score tied, 5-5. The game will be played at 4:30 p.m. (PDT), one hour before the scheduled third game of the series.

Tuesday's game, which resumed at 11:02 p.m. (CDT) was suspended because of American League rules that prohibit any inning starting after 1 a.m.

Perez and outfielder Dwight Smith were the only position players not used Tuesday, but if Perez's fears are correct, it may be weeks before he plays again.

Perez said he expects to be placed on the 15-day disabled list and replaced with first baseman J.T. Snow.

Dr. Lewis Yocum is scheduled to examine Perez's left wrist today to determine if surgery is necessary, but the Angels already have decided that he will be placed on the disabled list, retroactive to May 5.

"I'm not doing anyone any good right now," Perez said. "I just can't do anything with this hand. It hurts to catch the ball. It hurts to hit the ball.

"I just want to get healthy again so I don't waste this whole season.

Perez will undergo an arthrogram today to determine the severity of the ligament sprain and cartilage tear in his left wrist, but he fears he could be sidelined for at least the rest of this month.

"I'm just looking forward to getting healthy again," he said, "no matter how long it takes. I mean, look at me. I know I'm not a .200 hitter, but I just can't do anything about it right now."

Said Angel Manager Buck Rodgers: "I'm not going to play a guy who indicates he can't play. We can always back-date him on the DL, but obviously that doesn't mean anything if you have to operate on him."

Snow, who said he never should have been demoted to triple-A Vancouver in the first place, is expected to rejoin the Angels on Friday when they open a three-game series in Seattle. He is batting .290 this season with a club-leading five homers and 22 RBIs.

Meanwhile, the biggest suspense of the evening was whether the game would ever be completed. Angel third baseman Damion Easley eventually tied the score in the seventh with a two-run homer.

The game was stopped in the third inning with the Angels leading, 2-0, and it nearly was called after a two-hour delay. Umpire Dave Phillips, the crew chief, actually decided to postpone the game but no announcement was made while the Angels and Rangers were determining the makeup date. They decided the game would be played Thursday on the Angels' original travel day, but the Angels wanted it played during the day. The Rangers insisted on a night game.

While they were in the midst of their debate, the weather cleared, and at 11:02 p.m., the game was under way again.

Although it had been more than three hours since Leftwich hadpitched, he insisted he return to the game. He threw three times in the clubhouse, and besides, he said, this was nothing compared to his college days, when he would pitch both games of a doubleheader.

Leftwich completed his five innings, yielding three hits and one run, and left the game with a 3-1 lead.

"Now, this is where we want the game stopped so no one gets hurt," Angel General Manager Bill Bavasi joked in the press box.

It was about this time when the public address system began blaring, "It's a Beautiful Morning," with the clock striking midnight.

Leftwich's hopes for a victory vanished in the sixth inning. Juan Gonzalez tied the game with a two-out, two-run single off Joe Grahe. The Rangers then took a 5-3 lead when Grahe loaded the bases, and Manuel Lee hit a two-run single.

The Angels, however, came right back in the seventh with Easley's homer into the left-field seats that tied the score, 5-5.

Angel shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who never produced more than four homers in any of his six professional seasons, hit his second homer in five days in the third inning.

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