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Percival Called for Delay of Game

The ninth inning got wild before it even got started in the Angels’ 6-5 victory over Baltimore on Tuesday.

Angel closer Troy Percival was called for delay of game, an automatic ball, before his first pitch to Eric Davis. Percival was going through his pre-inning ritual, crouching behind the mound, when home-plate umpire Derryl Cousins made the call.

Cousins said the rule is 12 seconds, a change from last season when it was 20. He also said it was the fourth time this year his crew has made that call and that he nearly called it on Oriole pitchers twice during the game.

Said Percival: “From what I understand, it’s supposed to be from the time he gets in the [batter’s] box or from the time they announce his name. I have my back turned until they announce his name. They announce his name, I get up and go.

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“Basically, what happened was somebody said something. He got in the box early. This is baseball. That’s ridiculous, trying to take advantage of a stupid little rule. I’m not a slow worker. Once I get going, I work the game fast. . . . Matter of fact, people step out on me trying to slow me down. They are better team than that. They are just struggling right now . . . .”

Oriole Manager Ray Miller said it was by the book.

“That’s a new rule; they’re suppose to enforce it,” Miller said. “This guy warms up nervous as hell, walks around the mound, says prayers, bows behind the mound, looks over the center-field fence and everything else. They got tired of it an and called Ball One.”

Davis hit a 2-1 pitch for a triple.

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*

Angel Manager Terry Collins will not use relief pitcher Omar Olivares in Boston, since he is a possible starter for Friday’s game against Chicago at Edison Field. Jack McDowell is the scheduled starter, but he is home nursing a sore right elbow. McDowell will be examined Friday, but Collins said he will decide who starts Thursday. . . . The Angels now probably will wait until Friday to activate infielder Craig Shipley. Both Tim Salmon, who has a strained ligament in his left foot, and McDowell will be examined that day.

ON DECK

* Opponent--Boston Red Sox, two games

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* Site--Fenway Park

* Today--3 p.m. PDT

* Radio--KRLA (1110), XPRS (1090)

* Records--Angels 14-10, Red Sox 17-7

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* Record vs. Red Sox--3-0

ANGELS’

ALLEN WATSON

(1-2, 7.77 ERA) vs.

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TIM WAKEFIELD

(1-1, 6.00 ERA)

* Update--The Red Sox have been scorching since losing three games in Anaheim in early April. The have won 14 of 16 games and are 10-2 at home. The teams the Angels have faced this month have a combined .611 winning percentage before Tuesday’s games.

* Thursday 3 p.m.--Ken Hill (4-1, 2.51) vs. undecided.

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