Angels' 2-by-4 drops Giants

Consecutive 4-run innings power 10-4 blowout as Anaheim takes 2-1 lead

2 bat-arounds are a Series first

Hernandez streak ends

Bonds is first to homer in first 3 Series games

World Series

October 23, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO - The October magic disappeared last night for San Francisco Giants pitcher Livan Hernandez.

He had the same helpless look so many pitchers have had this month against the Anaheim Angels' relentless offense. It seemed nothing could save him. Not Barry Bonds. Not even Eric Gregg.

The Angels were a red blur again running the bases. They scored four runs in back-to-back innings and withstood another mammoth home run by Bonds to claim a 10-4 victory in Game 3 of the World Series at Pacific Bell Park.

Anaheim leads the best-of-seven series two games to one, with Game 4 back here tonight.

Bonds hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning - a 437-foot blast to center field - becoming the first player to homer in his first three World Series games. That gave Bonds seven home runs in the postseason, another record, but the Giants still trailed by four runs.

Hernandez simply dug his team too big of a hole, surrendering six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

"Livan started out throwing the ball excellent," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "But it was a rough night for us. Those pair of fours made it a very tough deficit."

Hernandez took the mound with a 6-0 career postseason record, having been the improbable hero of the 1997 postseason for the Florida Marlins. As a rookie that year, he won Most Valuable Player honors in the National League Championship Series and World Series, with the generous Gregg serving as home plate umpire for his infamous 15-strikeout, NLCS victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Counting the first two rounds this year, Hernandez had pitched in eight career playoff games and his team had won every time.

This time was different. This time, he was contending with an Angels team that buried the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins beneath avalanches of runs this month and looks like it might do the same to the Giants.

In 12 postseason games, the Angels have averaged 7.0 runs. At a time of year when runs are precious and big innings are like death blows for an opponent, Anaheim has batted around six times and scored three runs or more in an inning nine times.

"They put the ball in play," Baker said. "They run the bases well. Most of them have good speed, and that allows [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia to do some things."

Scott Spiezio had a two-run triple as the Angels scored four runs in the third inning, and they got consecutive run-scoring singles by Spiezio, Adam Kennedy and Bengie Molina - their Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters - in their four-run fourth.

Lucky for San Francisco this game was played in a National League ballpark.

Angels starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz made the third out in the second, third and fourth - stranding seven runners on base - as the Angels became the first team in a World Series to bat around in consecutive innings.

"They've done a terrific job all year long with situational hitting, especially with runners in scoring position," Scioscia said. "One thing leads to another, and it leads to some big innings. That is very uncommon for the playoffs."

Trailing 5-1 in the fourth, Baker replaced Hernandez with Jay Witasick, but the Angels' onslaught continued. Troy Glaus walked, Spiezio singled to right field, and Kennedy smashed a single off Witasick's right arm.

The ball caromed into left field, and Glaus scored. Witasick was in pain, but after tossing a few warm-up pitches, he struck out Ortiz to end the inning.

Ortiz handled some more early jitters to earn the victory, allowing four runs in five innings.

San Francisco tried climbing back in the fifth. Rich Aurilia hit a bases-empty homer, Jeff Kent singled and then Bonds crushed a 1-1 fastball from Ortiz onto the roof of a concession stand beyond the center-field wall.

A sellout crowd of 42,707 roared, but as they have done all postseason, the Angels came right back and squashed their opponent's hopes.

With two outs in the sixth, David Eckstein singled to center field, scoring Kennedy from second base and increasing Anaheim's lead to 9-4.

Runs started coming easily for the Angels, but that's not how the game started. In the first two innings, they hit the ball all over the ballpark with nothing to show for it. Glaus flied out to the warning track in right-center field, about 410 feet from home plate. Kennedy hit a ground-rule double to left field, a ball that probably would have scored Spiezio from first had the ball not bounced over the wall.

With the pitcher's spot due up in the order next, Hernandez walked Molina intentionally to load the bases, then struck out Ortiz, who had no hits in 14 previous career at-bats.

It had to be frustrating for the Angels because the Giants scored a first-inning run without even hitting a ball out of the infield.

"I think we were able to do some of the things that we've been successful at all year tonight," Scioscia said. "I thought we ran the bases well, we stole a couple bases, put some runners in motion, hit behind some runners well.

"Although 10 runs is something you are not going to get every night, I'm not going to say I'm surprised."

Schedule

Anaheim vs. San Francisco(Best of seven; *-if necessary)

TV:Chs. 45, 5 (all times p.m.)

Anaheim leads series 2-1

Game 1:San Francisco, 4-3

Game 2:Anaheim, 11-10

Last night:Anaheim, 10-4

Today:at San Fran., 8:35

Tomorrow:at San Fran., 8:22

*Saturday:at Anaheim, 7:58

*Sunday:at Anaheim, 8:02

SunSpot:For more coverage, visit sunspot.net/baseball

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