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Salmon Is Testing His Breaking Point

You may have noticed Tim Salmon running at full speed lately, but don’t get your hopes up about a miraculous recovery. In fact, a recent test showed the ligament in his left foot, which was 20% torn in April, is now 70% torn.

So Salmon has decided to go full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes of pain slicing through his foot.

“I’ve just taken the attitude that if it’s going to go sooner or later, it might as well be sooner so I can get it taken care of and maybe get back before the season’s over,” Salmon said. “I’ve been trying to protect it and it’s just tearing more anyway, so what’s the point?”

Does it hurt more to run this hard? Well, only when he starts and slows--and then a lot the next day--but Salmon says he has decided to raise his pain tolerance level a notch and just go for it.

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“It’s sort of perverted but I’m trying to look at it as a positive,” he said. “It’s like the more it hurts, the closer I am to having it go and then I can get it fixed.”

Salmon tested it right away Wednesday night, sprinting to second on a run- scoring double in the first and then going full-out again to score on Garret Anderson’s bloop single.

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The Angels’ search for a starting pitcher continues to revolve around Kansas City right-hander Tim Belcher and Cincinnati right-hander Pete Harnisch, but the team also is relieved to be discussing possible trades with St. Louis involving right-hander Todd Stottlemyre and Pittsburgh for right-hander Jason Schmidt, among others.

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Stottlemyre is among the National League leaders in innings pitched (153 1/3) strikeouts (142) and complete games (three). Schmidt, 25, is 8-5 and has won his last seven decisions.

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Manager Terry Collins understands that longtime starter Allen Watson is not happy with his place in the bullpen and figures Watson will be back in the rotation before long. But he’s not going to rush the move.

“When you’re in a pennant race, the focus has to be on the club,” Collins said, “and right now I need him to pitch out of the bullpen.”

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Left-handed reliever Mike Holtz was resting comfortably at home Wednesday night, recovering from what Collins described as the “most violent case of the flu I’ve ever seen.” . . . Second baseman Justin Baughman is now wearing No. 13 instead of No. 11. The Angels officially will retire No. 11 in honor of former shortstop and manager Jim Fregosi on Aug. 1. . . . Tampa Bay outfielder Dave Martinez was a late scratch from Wednesday night’s lineup because of a stiff back.

TONIGHT

ANGELS’

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STEVE SPARKS

(3-1, 4.06 ERA)

vs.

DEVIL RAYS’

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ROLANDO ARROJO

(10-6, 3.03 ERA)

Edison Field, 7 p.m.

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

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* Update--Sparks was 3-0 after his first four starts before losing to the Mariners on Saturday in what may have been his most impressive outing yet. He struck out seven in the first four innings and gave up two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Arrojo, the Devil Rays’ all-star representative, leads AL rookie pitchers in wins, earned-run average and strikeouts. His ERA on the road (1.97) is the best in the league and right-handed hitters are batting only .153 against him. After winning nine consecutive series from May 29 to June 23, the Angels are winless in their last six, dropping four and splitting two.


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