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Cabrera Has No Excuse for Misplay

Times Staff Writer

Orlando Cabrera did not bother watching a replay of Gary Sheffield’s bad-hop grounder that allowed the Yankees to score the tying run with two out in the 10th inning Sunday, a game New York went on to win, 8-7, in 11 innings.

Seeing the final hop take a sharp bounce up his forearm wasn’t going to make the Angel shortstop feel any better about not making the play. And the fact the play was ruled a hit by the Yankee Stadium official scorer was of no consolation.

“The bottom line is I didn’t catch it, and it doesn’t mean anything to me that they gave him a hit,” the Angel shortstop said. “I never try to excuse myself from letting the team down. It took a tough bounce, but the ball was hit slow enough for me to react.”

Combined with Saturday’s 8-7 setback, it was the first time in club history the Angels lost consecutive games with a four-run lead in the eighth inning or later.

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It was the first time any major league team had lost two straight with a four-run lead in the eighth inning or later since May 7-8, 1992, when Seattle beat Toronto.

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Jarrod Washburn, who was scratched from last Saturday’s start because of tightness in his forearm, underwent a precautionary MRI test Tuesday that showed mild inflammation. Washburn is scheduled to throw a normal bullpen session today and hopes to return to the rotation Saturday against Tampa Bay.

“It feels a lot better than it did last week, so Saturday shouldn’t be a problem,” Washburn said. “This was more a decision to miss one start now instead of four later. I’m using my head instead of being bull-headed.”

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Kelvim Escobar, who had surgery to shave down a bone chip on his elbow on June 29, threw about 40 pitches from a mound Tuesday, the first time the right-hander has thrown off a mound in his rehabilitation. “I don’t feel any pain,” Escobar said, “and that’s a relief to me.” ... Third baseman Dallas McPherson will resume his rehab with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga today.

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The Angels have declined to exercise an option year on the contract of Rex Hudler, the color analyst on their television broadcasts.

The contracts of play-by-play announcer Steve Physioc and radio announcers Rory Markas and Terry Smith also expire at the end of the season, with no options involved, Angel spokesman Tim Mead said.

The decision on Hudler’s option does not mean the Angels have decided not to retain him next year, Mead said. The team will evaluate its broadcasters after the season, he said.

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.


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