Drilling deep, Giants strike win

With 3 HRs off Anaheim, San Francisco hammers way to Game 5 win, 16-4

Kent hits 2 HRs, Aurilia 1

Giants one victory away from 1st title since '54

October 25, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO - Anaheim Angels manager Mike Scioscia plotted his strategy through Game 5 of the World Series as if he never had a doubt his team was coming back, blissfully unaware the San Francisco Giants were about to turn it into one of the biggest routs in series history.

The Angels have starting pitching concerns, and they faced an early six-run deficit, but Scioscia had seen his team do too much hitting this postseason to alter his best-laid plans.

Before long, those decisions didn't look so foolhardy.

The Angels climbed right back into the contest, bringing the tying run to the plate in the sixth inning, before having a rare offensive hiccup. Then Jeff Kent put them away for good, hitting a pair of two-run homers that helped seal a 16-4 victory last night at Pacific Bell Park.

The win gave the Giants a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and left them one victory away from their first world title since 1954, when they were the New York Giants. Game 6 is tomorrow night at Anaheim.

"Whatever happens," Giants manager Dusty Baker said, "this is a heck of a way to end the season at home."

The 16 runs scored by San Francisco matched the second-highest total for a World Series game. The New York Yankees scored 18 against their cross-town rival Giants in 1936.

"It was a whooping, no doubt about that," Scioscia said. "But our guys fought back, and we brought the tying run to the plate a couple times in the sixth inning."

Standing behind the dugout railing, with hands tucked into the pockets of his red jacket, Scioscia faced a potential series-altering decision in the third inning.

The Giants led 6-0, and Anaheim's starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn was having so much trouble, Scioscia had to contemplate lifting him right then and there.

At that point, Washburn had thrown 60 pitches, and pulling him might have allowed for the opportunity to start him in a potential Game 7 on Sunday. Washburn led off the third inning, and Scioscia had Scott Shields loose in the bullpen. But pinch hitting for his starting pitcher at that point might have given the appearance that he was conceding the game.

Scioscia wasn't ready for that. Not with a team that was averaging 6.7 runs this postseason.

The Angels' pitching plans for Game 7 have been uncertain because Game 3 starter Ramon Ortiz has tendinitis in his right wrist and Game 4 starter John Lackey would be pitching on three days' rest.

Scioscia left Washburn in the game, and he settled down long enough to last four innings, throwing 79 pitches. He'll probably be available in relief on Sunday.

"One thing about Jarrod, it wasn't nerves," Scioscia said, "This guy's as cool as they come. Those guys put together some great at-bats against him."

The question is, will the Giants even need a seventh game? The two home runs by Kent, and another by Rich Aurilia in the eighth inning, gave them 12 for the series, matching the World Series record set by the 1956 New York Yankees.

Barry Bonds didn't have any homers last night, but he did go 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.

Giants starter Jason Schmidt, who out-dueled Washburn for the victory in Game 1, blanked the Angels for four innings, using a 96 mph fastball to get eight strikeouts.

The Angels didn't push a run across until the fifth, when Orlando Palmeiro pinch-hit for Washburn and sparked a three-run inning.

The rally brought a hush to the sellout crowd of 42,713. These people had watched the Angels hit too much in games 2 and 3 to feel secure, especially with the lead shrunk to 6-3. Anaheim had overcome a five-run deficit three times this season, including their 9-6 victory in Game 3 of the Division Series against the New York Yankees.

After chasing Schmidt from the game in the fifth, the Angels scored one more in the sixth, and they were poised to trim the lead to one with a runner on third base and one out.

But Giants reliever Chad Zerbe got Darin Erstad to hit a harmless bouncer down the first base line, making the tag himself, and then Felix Rodriguez came in to retire Tim Salmon.

At that point, the Giants were struggling offensively. Washburn, Brendan Donnelly and Ben Weber combined to retire 11 hitters in a row before Aurilia singled off Troy Glaus' glove at third base with two outs in the sixth.

Then Kent followed with a two-run homer to left field, making it 8-4 San Francisco, and the crowd could finally exhale.

Kenny Lofton added a two-run triple in the seventh inning, and then Kent struck again with another two-run homer, this one off Shields.

Washburn, an 18-game winner this season, had an uncharacteristic performance.

The six runs he allowed in the first two innings were more than he allowed in all but one of his 32 starts this season.

In the first inning, Washburn had four walks, matching a World Series record.

With one out, the Giants had runners on first and second, and Scioscia let Washburn challenge Bonds. That proved costly. Washburn threw a 2-1 fastball, and Bonds drilled it down the right-field line for a run-scoring double.

Washburn's problems were just beginning. Benito Santiago hit a sacrifice fly, and then Washburn walked Reggie Sanders (intentionally), J.T. Snow and David Bell to force home San Francisco's third run. The three consecutive walks also matched a World Series record.

San Francisco put another three on the scoreboard in the second. Once again, the catalyst was Lofton, who had another leadoff single.

With runners on second and third, Scioscia had Washburn walk Bonds intentionally to load the bases. Then Santiago delivered a two-run single to center field, and Sanders followed with a sacrifice fly, making it 6-0 Giants.

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