Final

Playoff Series: Game 3 of 4

Anaheim won 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, October 1
Anaheim 5Final
New York 8
Game 2: Wednesday, October 2
Anaheim 8Final
New York 6
Game 3: Friday, October 4
New York 6Final
Anaheim 9
Game 4: Saturday, October 5
New York 5Final
Anaheim 9

Angels 9

 

    8:17 PM ET, October 4, 2002

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

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    NYY 303000000 6 - -
    ANA 01210113 - 9 - -

    W: F. Rodriguez (2-0)

    L: M. Stanton (0-1)

    S: T. Percival (2)

    Angels rally from five-run deficit to win game

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The New York Yankees just can't put away these Anaheim Angels.

    Game 3 at a glance
    Heroes
    The four-headed bullpen monster of John Lackey, Scott Schoeneweis, Francisco Rodriguez and Troy Percival held the Yankees scoreless over the final 6 1/3 innings. The Yankees, in fact, had just one hit and only two baserunners over the final six innings.

    Goat
    Handed a 6-1 lead in the third inning, Mike Mussina couldn't finish the job for the Yankees. Mussina lasted only four innings, leaving with a strained groin, and allowed four runs on six hits.

    Key stat
    Since being called up to the majors on Sept. 18, Angels rookie pitcher Francisco Rodriguez has recorded 29 outs, 18 by strikeout.

    Key stat II
    The Yankees also trailed 2-1 in last year's Division Series, but came back to defeat the A's in five games.

    Looking ahead
    David Wells, the Yankees' winningest pitcher during the regular season with 19 victories, will get the start in Game 4. Wells was 1-0 with a 6.52 ERA in two starts against the Angels this season. In those two starts, he allowed seven runs on 14 hits in 9 2/3 innings. Jarrod Washburn will get the nod for the Angels. He'll be pitching on three days' rest after having started the opener on Tuesday. In that game, Washburn pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits.

    Now, it's the four-time defending AL champions who are one loss from going home in early October.

    Darin Erstad hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and Tim Salmon followed with a two-run homer as the Angels again rallied, overcoming a five-run deficit to beat the Yankees 9-6 on Friday night.

    "We've put ourselves in position to close it out,'' Erstad said. "We'll see what happens.''

    Boosted by an outstanding effort from 20-year-old rookie Francisco Rodriguez and the rest of the relievers, Anaheim took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five AL Division Series.

    "It wouldn't have been possible if not for our bullpen,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

    The Yankees had only two baserunners in the last six innings. John Lackey, Scott Schoeneweis, Rodriguez and Troy Percival teamed up to retire the last 12 batters.

    The Angels can win their first postseason series ever Saturday when their ace, Jarrod Washburn, faces David Wells in Game 4.

    The Yankees, however, faced an even more desperate situation last year in the first round against Oakland. After dropping the first two games at home, New York came back to advance.

    "I think you have to credit the Angels,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We were winning 6-1, we just couldn't hold it. Our pitching just couldn't hold it.''

    The Angels have been one of baseball's least successful teams since they began as an expansion franchise in 1961, appearing in the playoffs only three times before this year.

    Anaheim blew a 2-0 lead in the 1982 AL championship series against Milwaukee and was one strike away from the World Series in 1986 before losing the last three games to Boston.

    Now, the Angels are one win away -- again.

    Down 6-1 in the third, they began their comeback against Mike Mussina. This was only the third time in Yankees postseason history that they've blown a five-run lead and lost.

    Angels celebrate

    Adam Kennedy, right, is congratulated after scoring one of his game-high three runs in Game 3.

    Lackey took over for ineffective starter Ramon Ortiz, and Schoeneweis got a key out against Jason Giambi.

    Then, Rodriguez struck out four in two perfect innings for his second win of the series -- and his major league career.

    Percival pitched the ninth -- this time, with no drama -- for his second save.

    Scott Spiezio's RBI single with two outs off losing pitcher Mike Stanton in the seventh tied it at 6.

    Adam Kennedy began the Angels' eighth with a blooper that bounced out of right fielder Raul Mondesi's glove for a double. After David Eckstein sacrificed, Erstad lined a double for his first RBI of the series, bringing the red-clad, sellout crowd of 45,072 at Edison Field to its feet.

    "I was looking for something up in the zone so I could at least hit a fly ball,'' Erstad said. "You get to two strikes, you don't want to strike out. I just kind of reacted.

    "Our pitchers were fantastic. When our starters don't do the job, we usually pick them up.''

    Of the Angels rallying from the five-run deficit, Erstad said: "We just scratch and claw and scrape.''

    Steve Karsay relieved Stanton, and Salmon hit the first pitch just inside the left-field foul pole.

    It marked the third straight game decided in the eighth inning.

    The Yankees won the opener 8-5 by scoring four times in the eighth, while the Angels rallied in Game 2 with three runs in the eighth for an 8-6 victory.

    The Angels have battered New York pitching for 41 hits and 22 runs in the three games.

    After the Yankees rouged up Ortiz after 2{ innings, Mussina gave the Yankees their third straight ineffective outing by a starter in this series.

    Mussina allowed four runs in four innings before leaving because of tightness in his right groin.

    Kennedy's sacrifice fly off Jeff Weaver in the sixth made it 6-5, and the Angels tied it on Spiezio's soft looper barely over the outstretched glove of second baseman Alfonso Soriano.

    Derek Jeter came up with a heads-up play for the second straight year in Game 3 of the Division Series, this time on the bases.

    Jeter hit a one-out single in the first and was running on a 3-1 pitch to Giambi that was ruled ball four.

    Catcher Bengie Molina threw to second anyway, and the ball trickled a few feet past third baseman Troy Glaus, covering because of the Angels' shift against the left handed-hitting Giambi, and Jeter alertly took off for an uncovered third base and made it.

    Jeter helped Mussina and the Yankees preserve a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning at Oakland last year by cutting off a throw up the first-base line -- far from his shortstop position -- and making a backhanded flip to nip Jeremy Giambi at the plate.

    The Yankees went on to win that game and the next two en route to eliminate the A's.

    Game notes


    Twice before the Yankees had wasted a five-run lead and lost in the postseason. In the 1956 World Series, Brooklyn overcame a 6-0 deficit to win Game 2. In the 1995 AL Division Series, Seattle came back from a 5-0 deficit to take Game 4. ... The Angels were playing a postseason game at home for the first time since Oct. 12, 1986, when they were one out from advancing to the World Series before blowing a three-run, ninth-inning lead against Boston. The Red Sox won in 11 innings and added two victories in Boston to win the AL pennant. ... The only existing teams other than the Angels who haven't won a postseason series are Houston, Texas, Colorado and Tampa Bay. ... Lackey, a rookie, was making his first relief appearance after starting 18 games for the Angels. ... The Angels, who hit seven homers in seven regular-season games against the Yankees, have eight in three playoff games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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