ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Anaheim Angels can book
their first trip to the World Series on Sunday afternoon when
they try to close out the Minnesota Twins in Game Five of the
American League Championship Series.
Anaheim is one step away from an elusive World Series after
pulling away late for a 7-1 victory in Game Four on Saturday for
a three games to one lead. The Angels were in a similar
position 16 years ago against Boston before losing the final
"There's no question we'll be on an even keel tomorrow," Angels
center fielder Darin Erstad said. "We've been through too much
together to get too excited too early. If it happens, it
happens. It doesn't, it doesn't. We're going to go out there
and give it everything we got and leave it on the field. But
we're by no means looking ahead."
Troy Glaus's RBI single in the seventh inning snapped a
scoreless tie and Scott Spiezio added a run-scoring double.
Another late-inning rally by the Angels helped make a winner of
rookie John Lackey, who allowed just three hits and struck out
seven in seven innings in his first career postseason start.
"(With) the reports we had on him in the minor leagues, the way
he went about his business pitching, when he came up to the
major leagues, it's like he didn't skip a beat," Angels manager
Mike Scioscia said. "He didn't skip a step. He kept that
command, kept that focus."
Anaheim scored five runs with two outs in the eighth inning to
extend to a 7-0 lead. Garret Anderson stroked an RBI single,
Brad Fullmer doubled in a pair of runs and Bengie Molina added a
Minnesota wasted another strong outing from Brad Radke, who was
the hard-luck loser. Radke matched zeroes with Lackey through
six innings and finished by yielding a pair of runs and five
hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The Twins averted the shutout on David Ortiz's two-out RBI
single in the ninth inning. Minnesota has managed just one run
and six hits in each of the two games at Edison Field this
"We're just having a tough time swinging the bats right now,"
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Couple guys picked it up
there at the end, you could see us fighting back after we got
blown out there that last inning. There's no quit in this team.
There won't be tomorrow. We'll come here and try to win a
baseball game. But that's our lineup. What you see is what you
get, that's what got us here. I stand behind those guys, I
always will, I always have."
Joe Mays (1-1, 4.63 ERA) attempts to duplicate his stellar
outing from Game One for Minnesota. Mays yielded an unearned
run and four hits in eight superb innings before giving way to
closer Eddie Guardado in a 2-1 victory.
Mays is aware that Minnesota's offense is struggling but does
not want that to affect his pitching.
"Obviously, we're not swinging - we're not able to get that big
hit yet," Mays said. "Hopefully, it will come around. But, in
essence, our job, as a rotation, as a staff, is to keep the team
Mays improved to 2-3 lifetime against the Angels and has pitched
well in a pair of career starts at Edison Field. The
righthander is 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings here.
Kevin Appier (0-1, 4.50) lost to Mays and Minnesota in Game One
despite a decent outing. Appier lasted five innings and allowed
both runs and five hits in the 2-1 loss.
The veteran righthander is seeking his first career postseason
victory in his fourth appearance and third start. Appier went
just 6-8 with a 3.76 ERA at home this season and lost to the
Twins here on May 26 by yielding three runs and nine hits in 5
Backing up Appier will be a bullpen that did not allow a run
until Ben Weber allowed Ortiz's RBI hit in the ninth. The
Angels' pen has an ERA of 0.84 in this series.
"Obviously, as a starter, you hope to go deep into a game, even
finish a game," Appier said. "But in the case that you don't,
you have extreme confidence in these guys coming in. We're
extremely fortunate to have them down there. They've just been
tremendous this year."
The Twins are trying to become the first team since the 1996
Atlanta Braves to rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the LCS.
The last AL team to accomplish the feat was Kansas City in 1985