Angels show spirit, defeat Yankees, 8-6

HRs by Anderson, Glaus in 8th help tie series, 1-1

`We do what it takes to win'

Anaheim stages own rally after losing early 4-0 lead

Baseball

Division Series

October 03, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - A strange sense of calm filled the visitor's clubhouse at Yankee Stadium after the opening game of the American League Division Series. Nobody panicked or cursed his fate. One defeat wasn't going to leave the Anaheim Angels shaken, even with the history of their opponent and quality of the stakes.

"There's no such thing as a loss that's easy," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "It's how you respond to them that's important."

The Angels gave Scioscia the proper response last night. And more than once.

Wearing their confidence like a uniform patch, they got back-to-back homers from Garret Anderson and Troy Glaus in the eighth inning to retake the lead, and critical outs from their bullpen to tie the series and wrestle home-field advantage from the New York Yankees with an 8-6 victory in Game 2.

The Yankees completed their rally from a 4-0 deficit with a two-out, two-run homer by Alfonso Soriano in the sixth inning. But Anderson and Glaus began the eighth by connecting off Orlando Hernandez, who had permitted only an infield hit through four innings after relieving Andy Pettitte.

"We play good, solid baseball," said Glaus, who has three homers in the series, which shifts to Edison International Field tomorrow night. "We do a lot of little things that need to be done to win ballgames. We do what it takes to win, no matter the circumstances."

Said Anderson: "We've been doing this for a couple years now. We're just starting to get the national exposure."

Adam Kennedy added a sacrifice fly for a 7-5 lead, but the Yankees tried to rally again with two singles off Ben Weber in the eighth. A hard bouncer toward the mound by Raul Mondesi deflected off Weber's bare hand, spraining a finger, and Scioscia called upon Brendan Donnelly instead of closer Troy Percival.

Criticized for not using Percival in the eighth inning of Game 1, when Donnelly served up a three-run homer to Bernie Williams, Scioscia avoided another round of controversy. Donnelly struck out John Vander Wal for the second out, and Percival got Derek Jeter looking after he had nailed Soriano on the back to load the bases.

"We think it's important to try to keep Troy as short as we can," Scioscia said.

The Angels were long on grit. They tacked on another run in the ninth off Jeff Weaver, giving them 17 hits and further confirmation that their regular season was no fluke. But none of them could breath easy until Percival stranded two runners in the ninth after Jorge Posada's run-scoring single.

"We knew when we went into this series what they were all about," said Yankees manager Joe Torre.

Soriano, who began the decisive rally in Game 1 by drawing a two-out walk in the eighth, again fell behind 0-2 in the sixth. This time, he unloaded on rookie Francisco Rodriguez, who was included on the post-season roster despite throwing only 5 2/3 major-league innings.

The momentum began to turn in the third, with Jeter's hands doing the work. Jeter hit his second homer in two nights, and the 11th of his postseason career, off Kevin Appier to reduce Anaheim's lead to 4-1.

Never shy about grabbing the attention once the playoffs start, Jeter made all three plays in the field in the next inning - two of them difficult - and led off the fifth with his third hit.

Pettitte lasted only three innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. He threw 66 pitches, few of them meeting the high standards set by a crowd of 56,695. Torre reached into his deep bullpen and pulled out Hernandez, who stood with his back to the plate as the Angels celebrated Glaus' eighth-inning homer.

Hernandez wasn't the only one stunned.

"Any time a pitcher is cruising like he is," Torre said, "you're always surprised."

Tim Salmon and Scott Spiezio homered in the first two innings, and a two-out single by Spiezio in the third increased Anaheim's lead to 4-0.

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