Angels show spirit, defeat Yankees, 8-6

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

Percival closes out victory

Hernandez is roughed up after four strong innings

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 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. 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.

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 Jeter looking after he had nailed Soriano on the back to load the bases.

The Angels 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 in the ninth after Jorge Posada's run-scoring single.

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 last night. 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. But manager Joe Torre reached into his deep bullpen and pulled out Hernandez, who stood with his back to the plate as the Angels celebrated Glaus' third homer of the series.

A home run by Tim Salmon with two outs in the first inning gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead. The ball slammed off the facing of the upper deck, dropping into the lower section before a fan chucked it onto the field.

Scott Spiezio, whose failure to backhand a sharp grounder from Jason Giambi in the eighth inning cost the Angels in Game 1, lined a homer into the left-field seats with one out in the second. That began of stretch of four consecutive batters reaching against Pettitte.

A two-out single by Spiezio in the third increased Anaheim's lead to 4-0. Anywhere else, that might have been enough to carry the Angels, but not at Yankee Stadium. Not with the players who inhabit it.

Too much baseball remained, and too many dramatics.

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