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Magnante has found success in Las Vegas

August 28, 2002

BURBANK -- Las Vegas is a place to take chances and try one's luck

at a variety of games.

For Mike Magnante, Sin City is proving to be a destination of

success in the sport of baseball.

Magnante, 37, a former Burroughs High standout left-handed

pitcher, is doing well for the Las Vegas 51s, the triple-A affiliate

of the L.A. Dodgers.

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Sunday, Magnante enjoyed a rare minor-league win as Las Vegas came

from behind to defeat the Tucson Sidewinders, 7-6. He hurled two

perfect relief innings to earn his first triple-A victory since 1997.

With Magnante the pitcher of record in the eighth inning, 51s'

Jeff Branson drove in the go-ahead run with two outs.

In four games with Las Vegas, Magnante has a 1-0 record, a 0.00

earned-run average and has allowed three hits, a walk and struck out

one in three innings.

Magnante -- who still makes his home in Burbank -- signed with the

Dodgers Aug. 16 after being released by the Oakland Athletics last

month. He was then assigned to the triple-A team.

Magnante joined a 51s team that is enjoying a winning season. In

fact, tickets for Las Vegas' first Pacific Coast League playoff

series since 1996 went on sale Monday. The team will host the

Edmonton Trappers Sept. 4 and 5 at Cashman Field for the first round

of the 2002 playoffs.

With an 11-5 win against Nashville Monday, the 51s are in first

place in the Pacific Coast League Southern Division with an 81-56

record, 12 1/2 games ahead of Tucson.

The former Indian and UCLA hurler is in the minors hoping to earn

a call-up to the Dodgers. However, with a players' strike set for

Friday, Magnante will likely stay in the minors unless n agreement is

reached.

Mainly, the Major League Players Assn. and the owners are at odds

over a payroll tax -- a salary-restraint tool that the owners deem

essential to establish a competitive balance.

Magnante has 12 major-league seasons under his belt, playing for

the Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels.

He has a career 26-32 record and a 4.08 earned-run average with three

saves. He has 347 strike outs and 234 walks.

Along with his major-league experience, Magnante was also a star

pitcher in college at UCLA. He was an Academic All-American for the

Bruins and was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in

January 2000.

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