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Angels Win But Lose Mo Vaughn


Mo Vaughn on crutches. Not what the Anaheim Angels wanted to see.

Minutes into his Anaheim debut, the Angels' $80 million man became their latest casualty.

Two batters into Anaheim's 6-5 opening victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night, Vaughn chased a foul popup into the Indians' dugout, landed awkwardly and sprained his left ankle.

Limping, he remained in the game for five innings, but finally told manager Terry Collins he couldn't go any more.

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  • "He's real sore. The X-rays were negative, but it's a possibility he will miss a few days," Collins said. "We're lucky (it wasn't broken), but sprains can be no fun. Sometimes a sprain can be almost as bad as a break."

    Vaughn said he wasn't sure how long he might be out.

    "I won't commit until I know for sure, but I guarantee you it won't be too long," he said. "Things happen. There are 161 more games and the most important thing is it's not broken and we've got a win."

    Vaughn, signed to a six-year contract as a free agent in the offseason, was hurt trying to catch the foul by Omar Vizquel. Vaughn went 0-for-2 in his debut.

    Collins fretted about the Angels' lineup already being shredded.

    "We've got Jim Edmonds down. If we lose Mo for any extended period of time ... You can only take so many body blows," the manager said.

    Anaheim center fielder Edmonds is on the DL with a sore shoulder, and the Angels already were without shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who sustained a broken forearm in spring training and is not expected back until after the All-Star break.

    "Somebody's just going to have to step up and do the job. Troy Glaus was the one tonight," Collins said.

    Glaus doubled off Steve Karsay (0-1) in the eighth inning, scoring Garret Anderson from first on a hit and run and snapping a 5-5 tie.

    Vizquel hit a two-run homer and singled in anoher run for the Indians.

    On a chilly night before a crowd of 39,936 at Edison Field, Cleveland left fielder David Justice also left the game after two innings because of a strained left calf.

    Mike Holtz got the win and Troy Percival pitched the ninth for the save.

    Trailing 3-2, the Indians moved in front with three runs in the fifth off Tim Belcher, who signed a $10.2 million, two-year contract with the Angels during the winter.

    Vizquel singled in a run to tie it, and another run scored on the play on right fielder Tim Salmon's throwing error. Manny Ramirez's RBI single then gave the Indians a two-run edge.

    Anaheim had taken a 3-2 lead in the fourth on consecutive solo homers by Salmon and Anderson off Jaret Wright.

    "On the 3-and-2 pitch to Salmon, I tried not to walk him and I made the pitch too good," Wright said. "On the first pitch to Anderson, I threw him a curve which I guess I could have gotten down more."

    Vizquel's two-run homer in the third gave the Indians a 2-0 lead, but the Angels got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Matt Walbeck singled, went to third on Andy Sheets' single and scored on a groundout by Darin Erstad.

    Belcher gave up five runs on six hits in 4 1-3 innings in his first game for the Angels. Wright allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 1-3.

    Notes: If the fences seem closer at Edison Field, it's because they are. The fence in center, 408 feet from home last year, is now 400 feet away, and the power alley in left center is 387, down from 396. ... Wright's father, former Angels pitcher Clyde Wright, heads the Anaheim speakers' bureau and watched his son pitch the opener. ... Manager Terry Collins is beginning his third season with Anaheim. The last two Angels managers who headed into their third year, Doug Rader and Buck Rodgers, were fired before the season was over. ... Only two Angels were in the same positions they were in last year's opener Salmon in right and Walbeck behind the plate.

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