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Salmon helps Angels win slugfest with Giants

10/22/2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Tim Salmon gushed about the home run -- not his, the one by Barry Bonds.

''That was the farthest ball I've ever seen hit in this
ballpark, for sure,'' he said.

Salmon trumped that 485-foot shot with the drive that counted
the most.

He connected for his second homer of the night, a tiebreaking,
two-run shot with two outs in the eighth inning that lifted the
Anaheim Angels over the San Francisco Giants 11-10 Sunday, knotting
the World Series at one game each.

''We knew there was going to be a hero in the dugout,'' Salmon
said, ''and tonight it was me.''

Francisco Rodriguez made a major contribution by throwing three
perfect innings. The 20-year-old relief sensation became the
youngest pitcher to win a Series game.

Credit this seesaw victory, though, to Salmon.

Until this year, no active player in the majors had gone longer
than Salmon -- 1,388 games -- without reaching the postseason. But
that wasn't a well-known fact because Bonds has been the center of
attention, especially because this is his first Series, too.

But Salmon put the spotlight squarely on himself on this night
by homering to give the Angels their first-ever World Series victory.

''I think I made the most of my opportunities. It was awesome,''
Salmon said. ''The way the game went back-and-forth was
unbelievable.''

Salmon went 4-for-4 with a walk, driving in four runs and
scoring three. He capped his performance with a drive into the
Anaheim bullpen in left field that left Bonds hanging over the top
of the fence.

The homer off Felix Rodriguez capped the Angels' comeback from a
9-7 deficit. They had led 5-0 after the first inning before homers
rallied the Giants.

Francisco Rodriguez made the longest outing of his big league
career to improve to 5-0 in the postseason. He tied Randy Johnson's
record for victories in a postseason set last year.

Rodriguez's locker in the Anaheim clubhouse is right next to
Salmon, who made his major league debut with the California Angels
in 1992.

''This is something he's never been in, either,'' Salmon said.
''I tell these young guys, 'Just appreciate it. Make the most of
it.'''

As Salmon circled the bases and fireworks exploded overhead
after he connected on a 93 mph fastball, Felix Rodriguez angrily
tugged on his cap.

Bonds homered for the second consecutive day, hitting a solo shot
with two outs in the ninth off Angels closer Troy Percival. Salmon
hung on the dugout railing and admired the shot that landed halfway
up the bleachers in right field.

But the crowd of 44,584 roared as Percival finished it without
further damage for a save.

''It was too much Salmon,'' Bonds said. ''It's phenomenal. He
did everything any player could do in one game except steal home.''

Bonds did his share, reaching base four times, highlighted by
the homer.

''I scripted it in the bullpen,'' Percival said. ''You get the
first two guys out, it doesn't matter how far he hits it. I think I
supplied all the power. It was impressive. I was going to go right
after him.''

It was the highest-scoring game in the Series since Cleveland
beat Florida 14-11 in 1997.

''You could tell it was going to be an offensive night,'' Giants
manager Dusty Baker said. ''The ball was carrying.

''It was one of the best games I've ever been in,'' he said.

Pacific Bell Park will play host to the World Series for the first time
in Game 3 Tuesday night. Livan Hernandez, 6-0 lifetime in the
postseason, starts for the Giants against Ramon Ortiz.

Bonds, making his first Series appearance in his 17th major
league season, went 1-for-2 with three walks. Like everyone else in
the San Francisco lineup, he couldn't solve Rodriguez as he
grounded out. The rookie pitcher struck out four, all on three
pitches.

''I never got nervous,'' he said.

''He stepped up,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We don't
get that game settled down, there's not a whole lot to come back
from.''

A day after both bullpens pitched 3 1/3 hitless innings, most of
the relievers had a lot more trouble getting outs.

The Giants scored four times in the fifth off John Lackey and
Ben Weber for a 9-7 lead. Game 1 star J.T. Snow hit a tying,
two-run single, then hustled to avoid being forced to give David
Bell a go-ahead infield hit with two outs. Shawon Dunston, playing
in his first Series game at age 39, added a sharp run-scoring single.

At that point, the Giants and Anaheim already had outscored one
NFL game played earlier in the day. Arizona beat the Dallas Cowboys
9-6 -- in overtime, no less.

Scott Spiezio's sacrifice fly off Chad Zerbe pulled the Angels
to a run down in the fifth.

The Rally Monkey made its first appearance on the scoreboard in
the sixth. And for the second consecutive night, the Angels promptly
scored, with Garret Anderson's single off Aaron Fultz making it
9-all.

The Angels started out doing everything right -- of their first
15 swings against Russ Ortiz, they did not miss once. In an inning
symbolic of their whole season, they hit to the opposite field,
aggressively streaked around the bases and even pulled a double
steal that let Brad Fullmer sneak home.

David Eckstein's leadoff single started the hit parade. Darin
Erstad followed with a run-scoring double and Salmon and Anderson added
singles. After Troy Glaus hit a fly ball for the first out, Fullmer
and Spiezio had run-scoring singles.

Anaheim clearly had the Giants on the run, and took advantage.
When catcher Benito Santiago made a high throw trying to get
Spiezio at second, Fullmer breezed to the plate with the Series'
first steal of home since Tim McCarver did it for St. Louis in
1964.

In all, it was the biggest first inning in a Series game since
Baltimore scored five against Pittsburgh in the 1979 opener.

Given a big lead, Kevin Appier began to give it right back. And
even though home runs eventually cost him, it was a little walk
that led to his undoing.

Working too carefully, Appier walked Bonds on a close 3-2 pitch
to begin the second. Snow singled with one out and Reggie Sanders
hit a three-run drive.

Bell followed with a shot to straightaway center, closing the
Giants' gap to 5-4. It marked the 13th set of back-to-back homers
in Series play, with Tony Gwynn and Greg Vaughn doing it most
recently for San Diego in 1998.

By then, as the bullpen got busy, it was apparent the Angels
could not count on the pitcher they fondly call ''Ape.'' Instead,
they would have to warm up the Rally Monkey, too.

Salmon's two-run homer gave the Angels a 7-4 lead in the second, an
inning that started with Eckstein's bunt single. Glaus long double
chased Ortiz before he got another chance to face Fullmer, his
one-time high school teammate.

Jeff Kent homered to lead off the Giants third, and Appier was
pulled after a four-pitch walk to Bonds.

Game notes
Sanders and Bonds became the first players to homer in
Games 1 and 2 of the Series since Ted Simmons for Milwaukee in
1982. ... Rodriguez got the victory at 20 years, 286 days old. The
previous youngest was Joe Bush, who was 20 years, 315 days when he
did won for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1913. ... Angels pitchers
did not give up a home run in the five-game ALCS against Minnesota.
... Anaheim's 21 home runs set a postseason record. ... Among the
big names in attendance: Hall of Famers George Brett (who caught a
foul ball), Willie Mays and Ernie Banks; Kobe Bryant (holding a
pair of ThunderStix) and five Lakers teammates; and actors Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Ray Romano and Dennis Quaid.