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Angels stage rally of their own in 8th, hang on in 9th

10/3/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dramatic home runs. Clutch pitching by closers.
Yet another late-night comeback in the Bronx.

Yes, the Anaheim Angels certainly have learned from the New York
Yankees.

Garret Anderson hit a tying home run off Orlando Hernandez in
the eighth inning, Troy Glaus followed with a go-ahead shot and the
Angels evened their best-of-five AL playoff series by winning 8-6
in Game 2 Wednesday night.

''I know crazy things happen here,'' said Troy Percival, who
escaped jams in the eighth and ninth innings, ''but not tonight.''

After watching the Yankees claw back from a 4-0 deficit to take
a 5-4 lead, the crowd was stunned. It was the first time New York
lost a postseason game at Yankee Stadium when leading after the
seventh inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

''We know we can come back and win any time,'' Anaheim's Bengie
Molina said. ''They probably know that, too.''

A night after not bringing in Percival and watching his bullpen
squander a lead in the opener, Angels manager Mike Scioscia called
for his closer with Anaheim trying to protect a 7-5 edge in the
eighth.

Percival got out of the jam, throwing a called third strike past
Derek Jeter, who questioned the call, with the bases loaded.

Scott Spiezio provided a cushion with a run-scoring double in
the ninth off Jeff Weaver, his third hit and RBI.

The Yankees tried for one more comeback in the bottom of the
ninth, with Jorge Posada blooping an RBI single with one out. But
with two runners on, Percival struck out Nick Johnson and retired
Raul Mondesi on a popup.

Anaheim, which set a team postseason record with 17 hits, headed
home to California after the 4-hour, 11-minute marathon with its
first playoff win since 1986, one that gives the Angels hope they
can knock off the four-time defending AL champions.

''We do what it takes to win, no matter the circumstances, no
matter whatever,'' Glaus said.

The series resumes Friday, with the Angels' Ramon Ortiz facing
Mike Mussina in Game 3.

''We've got a big challenge ahead of us, no doubt about it,''
Scioscia said. ''We've got to go out there and continue to press
these guys.''

Early homers by Tim Salmon and Spiezio helped Anaheim build a
4-0 lead and knock out Andy Pettitte after three innings.

''He made some bad pitches,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

But the Yankees closed to 4-3 against Kevin Appier and went
ahead when Alfonso Soriano finally got that elusive 40th homer -- a
two-run shot in the sixth off Francisco Rodriguez, a 20-year-old
right-hander who made his major league debut Sept. 18.

El Duque, relegated to the bullpen because of the Yankees'
pitching depth, replaced Pettitte in the fourth and showed the
poise under pressure he's known for in the postseason, where he was
9-2.

He retired his first 11 batters and 12 of 13, but Anderson tied
it when he led off the eighth with a drive into the right-field
bleachers.

Torre elected to stay with El Duque rather than go to his
regular relievers, and Glaus followed with his third homer of the
series.

The drive to center shocked the crowd of 56,697 at Yankee
Stadium, where New York had won six straight postseason games,
including a come-from-behind 8-5 thriller in Tuesday's opener. Adam
Kennedy added a sacrifice fly later in the eighth off Mike Stanton.

Unlike Tuesday, Anaheim's bullpen held on.

Ben Weber got in trouble in the eighth, when Johnson singled
with one out and Mondesi hit a hard comebacker that the pitcher
tried to grab, only to watch it ricochet to shortstop for a single.

Weber, who sprained his right index finger, angrily shook his
hands in disgust.

Once again, Scioscia was in a spot. In the opener, he didn't
bring in Percival to protect a 4-3 lead in the eighth, saving his
closer for a bottom of the ninth that never came.

Scioscia again called on Brendan Donnelly, who gave up Bernie
Williams' tiebreaking eighth-inning homer in the opener. Percival
watched in disbelief, holding out his arms as if to say ''I don't
know'' and shrugging his shoulders.

''I was a little puzzled because I was the only one getting
warmed up,'' Percival said. ''I walked down the steps a little bit
and got called back.''

Donnelly, cheered by New York fans as he warmed up, threw a
called third strike past pinch-hitter John Vander Wal, and Percival
finally came in.

''It's important for us to keep Percy in a very, very controlled
situation,'' Scioscia said. ''Four outs for us is the max.''

Scioscia's first pitch hit Soriano in the left shoulder blade,
loading the bases. With the crowd on its feet, Percival faced
Jeter, who had reached in his first seven plate appearances of the
series -- homering twice -- before fouling out in the sixth.

Jeter, 1-for-11 against Percival in his career, was tied up as
he missed a 96-mph fastball, then took a ball and fouled off a
pitch. Percival then threw a pitch over the outside corner and
Jeter was called out by plate umpire Doug Eddings, who was giving
pitchers that corner all night.

''In my opinion it was outside,'' Jeter said. ''There's nothing
you can do about it. He's not going to call the other team back
onto the field and change it to a ball.''

Rodriguez got the win for Anaheim, which allowed runners all
night but held the Yankees to 3-for-14 with runners in scoring
position.

Anaheim, which stopped a four-game postseason losing streak,
built its early lead as Pettitte struggled with his control. In
addition to the homers, Benji Gil and Spiezio hit RBI singles.

Jeter got the Yankees going in the third by homering deep over
the left-field wall for the second straight night.

Appier, the only Anaheim player with postseason experience
coming in, gave up a bloop two-run single to rookie Juan Rivera in
the fourth that glanced just off the tip of the glove of a diving
Darin Erstad in center field. Johnson sped home all the way from
first.

Game notes
Percival got a save and Hernandez was the loser. ... New
York was 83-8 when leading after seven innings during the regular
season. ... Jeter's homer was his 12th in postseason play. ...
Anaheim has six homers in the first two games of the series.