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McDowell to Get Work at Vancouver

Right-hander Jack McDowell, who went on the disabled list for the second time this season June 1 because of inflammation in his right elbow, will begin a rehabilitation assignment Saturday at triple-A Vancouver.

The move comes as a bit of surprise, but Manager Terry Collins said McDowell’s elbow has been feeling better lately, and after McDowell threw on the side Wednesday the decision was made to send him to Vancouver.

“After he and [pitching coach Marcel Lachemann] worked out today, we decided to have him throw three innings, 45 pitches or so,” Collins said. “I take it as a real positive move. Everybody’s trying to find pitching and we’ve got two [McDowell and Ken Hill] pretty good ones sitting on the DL.”

McDowell, who had surgery to remove loose particles from his elbow in May of last year while with Cleveland, went on the disabled list the second time this season because he didn’t think he could pitch with that much pain the rest of the season.

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He has said that this time he will just go until he can’t go anymore.

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The Cincinnati Reds signed right-hander Pete Harnisch to a two-year deal that includes a no-trade clause for this season, reducing by one the slim number of affordable possibilities available to bolster the Angels’ starting rotation.

But the way things are going these days, maybe the Angels should be looking for a big bat instead of another strong arm.

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“If Sandy Koufax were around and we could get him, it wouldn’t matter unless we hit,” General Manager Bill Bavasi said, after promising he’s doing everything he can to get another starter for the Angels’ pennant drive. “We have to hit better.”

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Troy Percival, who has 17 saves in his last 24 appearances, including his 28th on Wednesday, hasn’t had too many chances to ply his trade lately but he’s confident the Angels will regain the verve that carried them to a 22-6 record in June.

“This team plays on emotion, and when it’s there we can roll off 20 games where we play really great,” he said. “In June, we played great for almost 30 games. Now all we have to do is play good baseball for 60 games and we’ll be there at the end.”

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Where did all that emotion go?

“It’s not that we’re unemotional,” he said, “We just had some guys in slumps. If we were the Yankees or Cleveland or Baltimore and one of our starting players was slumping, we could just pull another top-line player off the bench that’s just as good.

“But we have nine guys, counting the [Phil Nevin-Matt Walbeck] platoon at catcher, who have to keep going out there as many days as they can, and then the role players have to fill in.

“I think we do a good job with what we’ve got.”

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Outfielder Orlando Palmeiro suffered an abrasion of the cornea in his left eye when a ball he fouled off the plate bounced up and hit him in the face Tuesday night.

“The eye socket is fine, the retina is fine and the cornea will be fine,” Collins said, “but his vision is a little blurry now. He feels just like he got poked in the eye, so it will be at least a couple of days.”

TODAY

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ANGELS’

JASON DICKSON

(9-7, 5.87 ERA)

vs.

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TWINS’

ERIC MILTON

(5-7, 4.75 ERA)

Metrodome, 10:15 a.m.

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

* Update--Milton was the one player the Twins demanded be included in the trade with the Yankees for Chuck Knoblauch. He was New York’s No. 1 pick in 1996 and was scheduled to pitch at the triple-A level this season until he pitched his way onto the Twins during the spring. The Angels are facing him for the first time, which is not a good thing, according to Collins. “When you walk up there for the first time against a guy, the pitcher has the advantage, especially if he’s any good,” he said. “And I’ve heard nothing but good things about this guy.” Third baseman Dave Hollins, suffering from a sore right shoulder that he hurt when he slid into first base last Friday, probably won’t play until the Kansas City series beginning Friday.


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