Fernando Valenzuela is back in the majors and looking like his old self. But it's the self that went 13-13 with a 4.59 ERA last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his debut Friday night with the California Angels, Valenzuela allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits in five-plus innings in a 5-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers. His teammates managed only four hits against former Angel Frank Tanana.
In the fifth, he allowed consecutive home runs to Tony Phillips and Lou Whitaker.
Valenzuela didn't give up a home run to Cecil Fielder, however. Asked what his best memory of the game would be, Valenzuela replied, "Keeping the ball in the park against Cecil."
Despite the defeat, Valenzuela showed he can help the Angels. "He gave us an opportunity to win the game and that is very good news for us," Angels manager Doug Rader said.
Even better news for the Angels' front office was the Anaheim Stadium crowd of 49,997, a season-high on a night when the Los Angeles Lakers played at home in the NBA Finals. About 25,000 tickets were sold after Valenzuela was named as the starter, including 9,356 walkup sales. Angels attendance is lagging almost 80,000 behind last year.
Galarraga sidelined 4-6 weeks
ATLANTA _ Montreal Expos first baseman Andres Galarraga will be out four to six weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Galarraga, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 28, returned to Montreal from Atlanta after experiencing minor swelling of his knee following a workout Friday. He was hitting .255 with three home runs and 11 RBI.
Around the bases
The Blue Jays have signed Ryan Griffin, an outfielder from Dunedin High School who was an 18th-round pick in the recent draft. He will attend a minicamp starting this week in Dunedin.
The Padres released third baseman Jim Presley and recalled pitcher Atlee Hammaker from Class AAA Las Vegas. Presley was hitting .136 with one homer and five RBI and had lost the starting job to Scott Coolbaugh.
The Phillies put starter Jason Grimsley and reliever Wally Ritchie on the 15-day disabled list, and called up pitchers Bruce Ruffin and Andy Ashby from Class AAA Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. Grimsley has a sore elbow, and Ritchie suffered a variety of injuries earlier this week in a fight with Otis Nixon of the Braves.
Ninety years ago today, the Giants set a modern major-league record that still stands by pounding out 31 hits in a 25-13 victory over the Reds. The all-time record is 36, set by Philadelphia against Louisville in 1894.
_ Compiled from AP and special reports.