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O's seek needed lift from Mussina return

The Orioles, eager to right a pitching staff that has struggled the past two weeks, activated staff ace Mike Mussina off the disabled list Saturday.

Mussina, a right-hander who owns the best winning percentage among active pitchers, will start today against the Minnesota Twins. He had been sidelined since April 17 with a wart on his right index finger.

To make room for Mussina, the Orioles placed right-handed reliever Terry Mathews on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday. Mathews has been battling inflammation in his right wrist.

ANGELS: RF Tim Salmon was put on the 15-day disabled list Friday retroactive to April 23 because of a strained ligament in his left foot. Salmon, who had two cortisone shots last week, has missed eight games and is eligible to be activated Friday, but he couldn't predict whether he'll be ready by then. The Angels replaced Salmon on the roster with LHP Greg Cadaret, a reliever who had not given up an earned run in 10 innings at Triple-A Vancouver. Manager Terry Collins wanted a third left-handed reliever _ and a 12th pitcher _ to guard against overworking Mike Holtz, who has a team-high 14 appearances. An MRI test on RHP Troy Percival showed some inflammation in his right elbow, but the closer was cleared to pitch. Further tests, including a bone scan, on RHP Jack McDowell revealed no structural damage in his right elbow. McDowell was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of an inflamed elbow. After a week of extended spring training games in Arizona, second baseman Randy Velarde and catcher Todd Greene will begin their minor-league rehabilitation assignments Monday at Class-A Lake Elsinore. Velarde, recovering from elbow surgery, will play the field, but Greene, recovering from shoulder surgery, will be limited to designated hitter for at least a week. LHP Chuck Finley, seeking his 15th consecutive victory, was knocked out of the game against Chicago when struck by a line drive in the fourth inning. He was diagnosed with a bruised elbow and was to be re-examined today.

RED SOX: Mo Vaughn's homer was his 198th, making him the all-time leader among players born in Connecticut. He surpassed Dick McAuliffe.

_ TIMES WIRES

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