Feller Familiar With Bizarre Play
Norberto Martin dropped a nice bunt down the third-base line in the second inning Saturday, and Indian third baseman Travis Fryman made a bare-handed grab and a perfect off-balance throw to first. There was one problem: Cleveland first baseman Jim Thome was nowhere to be found.
Thome also charged on the play, and Fryman’s throw to a vacant bag caromed off the wall in foul territory, allowing runners to advance to second and third.
It was a bizarre play, one that raised many eyebrows at Jacobs Field, but it looked all too familiar to one Hall of Famer in the press box--former Indian pitcher Bob Feller.
“I did the same thing in a very important game at the end of the 1948 season,” Feller said. “There were runners on first and second, a guy bunted and I made a perfect throw to third. But my third baseman, Ken Keltner, was standing right beside me.
“I threw a beauty down the left-field line, it rattled around in the corner for a while, and both guys scored. You don’t look on that play. You just throw.”
Darin Erstad’s first-inning homer marked the second time in his career he had opened a game with a homer, and his solo shot in the seventh marked his second career two-homer game. “It’s something to build on, but obviously we need wins,” said Erstad, who has a 10-game hitting streak. “That’s all I care about.” . . . Tim Salmon’s seventh-inning homer was his 156th, tying him with Chili Davis for second on the Angels’ all-time list. Brian Downing holds the record with 222. . . . Infielder Robert Eenhoorn, designated for assignment before the season, cleared waivers and decided to become a free agent.
ANGELS’ CHUCK FINLEY (1-0, 1.13 ERA) vs. INDIANS’ JARET WRIGHT (1-0, 6.00 ERA)
Jacobs Field, Cleveland, 10 a.m. PDT
Radio--KRLA (1110), XPRS (1090).
* Update--Finley, who has given up two earned runs and struck out 17 in 16 innings, provides the best hope for ending the Angels’ five-game losing streak to the Indians. Dave Hollins, who was hit by a pitch in the right knee Friday, said he could have played Saturday. But Manager Terry Collins held him out as a precaution and will start Hollins today. Shortstop Gary DiSarcina, out since Tuesday because of a bruised wrist, took batting practice Saturday and will return today. The Indians put reliever Paul Shuey on the disabled list Saturday because of a strained right groin and recalled left-hander Tom Martin from triple-A Buffalo.