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Ball 1: Delay of game on the pitcher

Troy Percival has done it hundreds of times without incident.

Before his first pitch, the Anaheim Angels closer focuses by performing a ritual in which he crouches behind the mound for several seconds, focusing on a single blade of grass.

Percival, who earned his seventh save in Tuesday night's 6-5 win over the Orioles, violated the new delay-of-game rules when he failed to deliver his first pitch of the ninth to Eric Davis within the required 12 seconds.

He was charged with a ball, prompting a protracted argument from manager Terry Collins and strong words from Percival.

"That had to be orchestrated by the Orioles, I don't know," Percival said. "There's supposed to be 20 seconds from the time they announce his name. It wasn't even close to 20 seconds. That is the sign of a team that's struggling, begging for (stuff) to happen.

"This is baseball _ that's ridiculous trying to take advantage of a stupid little rule."

The 20-second rule cited by Percival was in place until this season, when the limit for throwing the first pitch to a batter was reduced to 12 seconds.

Orioles manager Ray Miller denied having anything to do with the incident. "What do the Orioles got to do with it?" said Miller, whose team has lost 10 of 13. "It's the umpire's decision. If he's a little irked, he ought to have enough (guts) to throw the ball over the plate.

"That's a new rule, they're supposed to enforce it. This guy warms up nervous as hell, walks around the mound, says prayers, bows behind the mound, looks over the centerfield fence and everything else. They got tired of it and called ball one."

Umpire Derryl Cousins said it was the fourth time this year his crew has made that call.

ANGELS: Collins said a decision will be made Friday on whether to put Tim Salmon (strained ligament in his left foot) on the DL. A decision on whether Jack McDowell (inflamed right elbow) will start will be made after he throws in the bullpen today.

RANGERS: Matched their record for best 25-game start (18-7, 1989).

_ TIMES WIRES

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