Spiezio helps bring Angels within two games of A's


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Scott Spiezio didn't take long to exact a
little revenge against Ted Lilly.

One pitch, to be exact.

Spiezio hit a two-run homer off Lilly in the first inning and
added a run-scoring double in the eighth as the Anaheim Angels beat
the Oakland Athletics 5-2 Tuesday night.

The win was the 11th in 12 games for the Angels, who moved
within two games of AL West-leading Oakland and extended their lead
over Seattle in the wild-card race to five games.

Terrence Long hit a two-run homer for the A's, who lost for just
the second time in 25 games. They had won three straight since
their AL-record 20-game winning streak was snapped in Minnesota.

While pitching for the New York Yankees on Aug. 5, 2001, Lilly
beaned Spiezio after Anaheim's Ramon Ortiz hit Derek Jeter with a

Spiezio said it wasn't on his mind as he entered the batter's
box to face Lilly for the first time since the beaning.

''It skimmed my helmet, it didn't hurt me,'' Spiezio recalled.
''I think it was on everybody else's mind but mine. They reminded

After David Eckstein's leadoff single, Spiezio hit Lilly's first
delivery over the left-field fence for his 10th homer to put the
Angels ahead for good.

Starting at third base in place of ailing Troy Glaus, Spiezio
also scored three times.

Spiezio hit his RBI double with two outs in the eighth off
Ricardo Rincon, and Garret Anderson followed with his major
league-leading 53rd double to provide the Angels with a pair of
insurance runs.

''Speez is swinging the bat terrific, especially from the right
side,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He got a couple big
hits for us.''

Ortiz (13-9) held Oakland hitless for 5 1-3 innings in winning
his fourth straight decision. He walked four and struck out two
before being relieved by Brendan Donnelly to start the seventh.

Troy Percival, the fifth Angels pitcher, retired David Justice
on a fly to center with two on to end the eighth, then worked a
perfect ninth for his 36th save in 40 chances.

Lilly (4-7), who had been sidelined since July 20 because of
inflammation in his pitching shoulder, allowed three runs and five
hits in 2 1/3 innings.

''I didn't execute pitches in the counts that I needed to, and
getting ahead of hitters is something I've got to do to be
successful,'' Lilly said.

Regarding Spiezio, Lilly said: ''You definitely want to get
ahead of him and throw him strikes. He's a pretty good hitter, so
you really can't leave a lot over the middle of the plate because
he's quick enough to get to that pitch.''

Spiezio walked to open the third and scored on Shawn Wooten's
one-out double, making it 3-0 and chasing Lilly. After hitting Tim
Salmon with a pitch, Mike Fyhrie retired the next two batters to
end the inning.

Ray Durham singled with one out in the sixth for Oakland's first
hit, and Long hit the next pitch over the right-field fence for his
second homer in as many games and 15th of the season.

''I was just looking for good pitches to hit,'' Long said.
''Whether he lost his concentration or not, I don't know. He threw
me a fastball in, and he didn't quite get it in as far as he wanted
and I was able to put a good swing on it.

''But other than that, he didn't make many mistakes.''

Ortiz has allowed a major league-leading 37 homers. He issued
two walks later in the sixth before striking out Justice with his
100th pitch to end the inning.

Ortiz entered 0-4 lifetime with a 5.68 ERA in six starts against
the A's.

Game notes
Angels LHP Jarrod Washburn is under investigation by
Anaheim police in an alleged sexual assault. The 28-year-old
Washburn (17-5), the Angels' first 17-game winner in 11 years, has
not been charged and the case has yet to be turned over to the
Orange County district attorney's office, according to Scott Boras,
Washburn's agent. ... Glaus didn't start because of a jammed left
ring finger but entered at third base as a defensive replacement in
the ninth. He was injured sliding headfirst into second base Monday
night and is listed as day-to-day. ... Lilly was making just his
third start for the A's since being acquired from the New York
Yankees on July 5. ... Ortiz also pitched 5 1-3 hitless innings two
starts ago in his first career shutout, a five-hitter against
Baltimore. ... Hall of Famer Tom Lasorda, a senior vice president
with the Los Angeles Dodgers, attended the game. Lasorda, who turns
75 later this month, managed Angels skipper Mike Scioscia for 14
years with the Dodgers. ''I'm here to bring him some Lasorda
luck,'' he said.