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Erstad Likely to Sit for Rest of Trip

Outfielder Darin Erstad, diagnosed late Friday with a mild concussion, was released from an Oakland hospital Saturday afternoon after an overnight stay for observation.

Erstad left Friday’s game after his chin slammed against the ground as he dove for a fly ball. After appearing disoriented during a clubhouse examination, he was hospitalized for tests, including an X-ray and CT scan Friday and an MRI exam Saturday. The tests--intended to rule out any neck injury, skull fracture or bleeding in the brain--all were normal, Angel athletic trainer Ned Bergert said.

Doctors are expected to decide today whether to send Erstad back to Southern California for further examination, Bergert said. In any case, it is unlikely that Erstad would play during the remaining four games of this trip. Doctors will not clear him until he has been free of symptoms, most notably headaches, for several days.

The diagnosis, Bergert said, could represent a residual effect from Tuesday’s game, in which Erstad crashed face first into the outfield fence. Doctors examined Erstad on Wednesday and found no symptoms consistent with a concussion, Bergert said, and so they did not order follow-up tests. Erstad played Wednesday.

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Angel Manager Mike Scioscia and closer Troy Percival headed a small delegation that visited Erstad in the hospital Friday night. Scioscia stayed until 2 a.m.

“By the time I left, he was coming around,” Scioscia said. “His biggest complaint was that he had a headache and he was tired.”

Erstad was sleeping soundly when Percival returned to visit Saturday morning. Percival made sure he would not have to recuperate on hospital food alone.

“I brought him some food,” Percival said. “I let him sleep and I took a cab over here.”

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The Angels scratched Brad Fullmer from Saturday’s lineup because of a bruised left thumb. Fullmer injured the thumb while diving headfirst into first base Friday. He finished the game, but the thumb swelled considerably after the game. The Angels sent Fullmer for X-rays, which ruled out any broken bones, and he said he hoped to play today.

The unavailability of Erstad and Fullmer left Scioscia with a two-man bench Saturday. Scioscia said the Angels would await further word on when Erstad might return before deciding whether to call up another position player, most likely Clay Bellinger.

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Jeff DaVanon has started two games in right field for the struggling Tim Salmon, and he started in center field Saturday for Erstad. DaVanon hit .313 at triple-A Salt Lake last season, but he hit .193 in 88 at-bats with the Angels. At 28, he is well aware this might be his best, and last, opportunity to establish himself as anything more than a team’s fourth or fifth outfielder on the major league level.

“In the minor leagues, I put up numbers when I was an everyday player,” he said. “They’re giving me a shot, so I’ll try to do the best I can. I’m not going to try to hit a home run every time up like I did last year.”

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Troy Glaus is so strong that he homered on a pitch he thought he had popped up. He was so convinced that he flipped his bat in frustration as he ran toward first base.

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“I know what it’s like to pop up,” he said, “and I thought that was a pop up. It must have been the wind or something.”

TONIGHT

ANGELS’

AARON SELE

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(0-2, 7.56 ERA)

vs.

ATHLETICS’

CORY LIDLE

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(0-3, 5.63 ERA)

Oakland Coliseum, 5 p.m.

TV--ESPN.

Radio--KPLS (830), XPRS (1090).

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Update-- Sele went 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA against Oakland last season.


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