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Nixon gives caught popup to fans -- after two outs

5/17/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- Sometimes it's not whether you catch the ball,
it's what you do with it afterward.

A day after Jeff DaVanon saved the game for Anaheim by keeping
Trot Nixon's drive from going over the fence -- and then dropping it
-- Nixon turned a close game into a blowout by catching an easy pop
fly and then, mistakenly thinking there were three outs, tossing it
into the stands.

The gaffe helped the Angels score three runs in the ninth on
Saturday as they came from behind for the second consecutive day
and beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2.

"It was a boneheaded play,'' Nixon said. "It was just
stupid.''

On Friday night, Anaheim rallied from four runs behind to take a
6-5 lead before Nixon drove the ball deep to right field. DaVanon
got a glove on it before it could go over the short fence, but it
popped out and landed on the field; Nixon cruised into third base,
but he was stranded there and DaVanon was praised for saving the
game for the Angels.

On Saturday, Anaheim led 3-2 on Troy Glaus' eighth-inning homer
when David Eckstein lofted a lazy fly to right with one out and
runners on first and second. Nixon caught it, then tossed the ball
to a fan.

"It's unfortunate,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"Trot's a guy who plays as hard as anyone in baseball. You never
like to see anything like that, especially to a guy who plays as
hard as he does.''

Nixon was charged with an error; the runners were each given two
bases, scoring Bengie Molina and moving DaVanon went to third. Adam
Kennedy walked, pinch-hitter Shawn Wooten singled to score another
run and Garret Anderson singled to make it 6-2.

"It was a mistake I made that caused that inning to get way out
of hand,'' Nixon said. "I've made mistakes before, and I can
bounce back from them.''

Jarrod Washburn (4-4) allowed one earned run and seven hits in
seven innings, walking one and striking out three. Brendan Donnelly
pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to protect his perfect ERA before
Troy Percival got the last two outs for his seventh save.

Nixon's gaffe ruined another fine performance at Fenway for
Derek Lowe, who left with a 2-1 lead after allowing Tim Salmon's
single one-out single in the eighth. Mike Timlin (3-2) got Anderson
to ground out before Glaus hit a shot off a billboard above the
seats above the Green Monster.

Lowe is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA at home, compared to 1-2 record and
11.57 ERA on the road.

The Red Sox committed three errors after making two in the
series opener on Friday.

"After Glaus hit the home run the roof kind of caved in there a
little bit,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "But you saw some
things that were very uncharacteristic of the players who committed
them.

"Sometimes you feel like you want to crawl into a hole and
there are not any around for you to crawl into.''

Nomar Garciaparra hit a solo homer in the first to give Boston a
1-0 lead and extend his hitting streak to 18 games. It's the
longest active streak, and it's the longest for the Red Sox since
Johnny Damon hit in 18 in a row last year.

Nixon reached on a dropped third strike in the third, moved to
second on Damian Jackson's single and scored to make it 2-0 on
consecutive sacrifices -- Bill Mueller's bunt and Todd Walker's fly.

Glaus walked and scored on Molina's sacrifice fly in the fifth
to make it 2-1.

Game notes
Garciaparra was just 2-for-11 against Washburn before his
homer. ... Donnelly hasn't allowed an earned run in 23 2-3 innings
this season. ... Mueller has hit safely in his last 15 starts. ...
Brad Fullmer made an over-the-shoulder catch to end the fifth
inning and save a run. ... On this date in 1947, a seagull flew
over Fenway Park and dropped a three-pound smelt on St. Louis
Browns pitcher Ellis Kinder. Nevertheless, Kinder beat Boston 4-2.
... Washburn has pitched at least six innings in all nine of his
starts this year. ... With his homer, Glaus moved into fifth on the
Angels all-time list with 155, surpassing Bobby Grich.

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