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Another Unusual Injury for Finley

Angel pitcher Chuck Finley was supposed to play golf with a buddy in Newport Beach on Thursday, but he had to cancel--turns out doctors had to replace a divot in Finley’s right knee Wednesday night.

The quarter-sized gash Finley suffered when he fell while trying to cover first base in the fifth inning against the Devil Rays required eight stitches to repair, and Finley is confident--but not 100% sure--he will make his next start.

“I’ve never had a cut go so deep where you could see parts of you that hold you up,” Finley said. “It was like jumping off a motorcycle and hitting your knee on the pavement.”

Manager Terry Collins figured Finley had a badly scraped knee until he saw how deep the wound was. He pulled him from the game immediately. “You could see the white stuff,” Collins said. “The doctors said it was fractions from going all the way down to his patella tendon.”

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This was just another in a long line of freak injuries for Finley, who broke a facial bone in the spring of 1997 when a bat flew out of reliever Mike James’ hands and hit Finley in the face, and broke his wrist when he slipped and fell while backing up home plate last Aug. 19.

Finley has never had a serious arm injury in 13 big league seasons. Most of his injuries, it seems, are incurred while playing defense. “Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of reasons to be concerned when I get around that first-base bag,” Finley said.

Outside of the broken facial bone, can Finley recall an injury he didn’t suffer while fielding?

“Yeah,” pitcher Jack McDowell interrupted, “he fell off a bar stool once with me.”

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*

Reliever Mike Holtz, who stayed home Wednesday night because of severe flulike symptoms, felt well enough to come to Edison Field for an afternoon workout Thursday but was not available to pitch.

Holtz had to be taken by ambulance to an Oakland-area hospital Tuesday and received fluids intravenously before returning to Southern California on a flight separate from the team. “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Holtz said. “My main concern was that none of the other guys caught it.”

* Opponent--Baltimore Orioles, three games.

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* Site--Edison Field.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports West tonight and Saturday night.

* Radio--KRLA (1110), XPRS (1090), KIK-FM (94.3).

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* Records--Angels 52-42, Orioles 46-50.

* 1997 record vs. Orioles--4-1.

TONIGHT

ANGELS’

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JASON DICKSON

(9-6, 6.12 ERA)

vs.

ORIOLES

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DOUG DRABEK

(5-9, 7.27 ERA)

* Update--Todd Greene, sidelined all season because of a shoulder injury, will begin another rehabilitation assignment Friday for triple-A Vancouver. Greene will play first base and designated hitter in hopes of being activated by August. Infielder Randy Velarde, limited to two games because of an elbow injury, may begin a rehab assignment at Vancouver on Monday. He will play second base and DH. The Orioles are 8-0 after the All-Star break and might be playing well enough to convince the front office to scrap plans to trade veteran free-agents-to-be such as Roberto Alomar and Rafael Palmeiro and make a run at the wild-card berth.

* Saturday, 7 p.m.--Jarrod Washburn (4-2, 4.06) vs. Nerio Rodriguez (1-2, 7.30).

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* Sunday, 5 p.m.--Omar Olivares (5-6, 3.97) vs. Mike Mussina (7-5, 3.67).

Tickets--(714) 663-9000.


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