Erstad Feeling Lost in the Twilight

Darin Erstad has tried numerous combinations of tinted contact lenses and glasses in an effort to offset the twilight conditions in Edison Field, finally settling on a pair of amber-colored goggles he thought provided a solution. Until Friday night, when the Angel center fielder lost Clay Bellinger's fly ball in the second inning of a 6-2 win.

"I'm open to suggestions," Erstad said. "I've tried everything; I've gone through the whole kit and caboodle. On those real high ones, you look up . . . man, it's the worst feeling in the world. You're just helpless."

Oddly enough, Erstad doesn't recall having problems with the twilight when he played left field in 2000. "Maybe I'm that messed up," he said. And he hasn't talked to other center fielders about the conditions, which are worse in the second and third innings of night games. "They don't seem to have any problems," Erstad said.

The night wasn't a total loss for Erstad, who doubled home the tying run in the seventh inning off Andy Pettitte, whom Erstad recently said was "the toughest pitcher I've ever faced in the big leagues." Erstad was batting .147 (five for 34) against Pettitte before slapping his double to left.

"You keep battling, and the odds are you should get one to fall in every three years," Erstad said.

Troy Glaus insists his right wrist "is fine, there's nothing really wrong with it," but with some prodding, the Angel third baseman admitted the wrist is not fine, and there is something wrong with it.

Though Glaus won't use it as an excuse, the sore wrist has probably contributed to his .238 batting average. Glaus was three for 28 with three walks and 13 strikeouts in his previous seven games and seven for 50 (.140) in his previous 13 games before doubling home a run in the first inning Saturday.

"Right now, I can't expect it to heal," Glaus said. "I'll deal with it when the season is over. It just needs rest, but I'm not going to take any days off now."

The wrist flares up on check swings, but not enough for Glaus to ask out of the lineup. Not that Glaus, who played the final two months of 1999 on two bum knees that required surgery after the season, would ever consider such a thing.

"Everyone plays with pain," Glaus said. "You've just got to deal with it. I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. Am I hurt? Yes. Can I play with it? Yes."

*

Erstad left Saturday's game after seven innings because of a cramp in his left hamstring, but said he felt fine by the time the game ended. . . . Tim Salmon's left foot is aching from him fouling several balls off it this past week, "but that's not the reason I'm not playing," the Angel right fielder said before Saturday's game, in which he did not start. "It's been a tough week, and [Manager Mike Scioscia] wanted to give me a day off, so hopefully I'll get a fresh start [today]." Salmon showed signs of emerging from his season-long slump, raising his average to .228 with two hits, including a homer, against Boston Tuesday, but he went hitless with six strikeouts in his next 12 at-bats in three games, and his average slipped to .221. He is batting .252 (30 for 119) since returning from the disabled list July 20.

TONIGHT

ANGELS' SCOTT SCHOENEWEIS

(10-9, 4.98 ERA)

vs.

YANKEES' ORLANDO HERNANDEZ

(0-6, 6.00 ERA)

Edison Field, 5

Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090).

Update--Hernandez will make his second start after missing almost three months because of an inflamed second toe on his left foot. In his first start back he was rocked for eight runs on 11 hits in five innings of a 13-3 loss to Texas on Tuesday.

Tickets--(714) 663-9000.

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