In a tight game at a packed Edison Field, Troy Glaus hit a solo
homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, leading the Angels to
a 2-1 victory over the Twins for a two games to one lead in the
American League Championship Series.
With both teams receiving strong starting pitching, timely
relief and exceptional defense, the only difference in Game
Three was Glaus, who added to a franchise record by belting his
fourth postseason homer.
"These teams are as close as you can get," said Jones, who drove
in Minnesota's run. "We play a similar style. We don't have a
big bopper and they don't have a big bopper, although Troy has
hit some home runs."
Glaus, who has more homers than any other major league third
baseman the last three years, led off the bottom of the eighth
by hitting a 3-1 pitch from lefthander J.C. Romero (0-1) to the
opposite field in right, snapping a 1-1 tie.
It was the fourth home run in seven playoff games this year for
Glaus, who pumped his fist between first and second base after
watching the ball land in the front row above the high wall in
"Honestly, I didn't know it was gone until it hit the seats,"
said Glaus, who went 2-for-3 to raise his postseason batting
average to .346.
"The last thing I expected was to give up a home run," said
Romero, one of the best setup men in the game this season. "It
happens. That's baseball."
With the help of two superb catches in the outfield, Troy
Percival fired a perfect ninth for his second straight save and
fourth of the postseason. Rookie sensation Francisco Rodriguez
(3-0) earned the win after striking out two in the eighth.
Garret Anderson also homered for the Angels, who played a home
game in the ALCS for the first time since 1986 and moved within
two wins of their first World Series appearance.
After attracting 44,234 fans to Edison Field, the Angels will
host the next two games - Saturday and Sunday.
"It's nice that we're up 2-1, but we still have got to win two
games," shortstop David Eckstein said. "They were down 2-1 to
Oakland and won, so we better be focused tomorrow."
The Twins have surrendered only nine runs in the first three
games of the series but must win three of the next four to
advance to the World Series. They are in the postseason for the
first time since winning a championship in 1991.
"Right now we're down 2-1," Romero said. "We're gonna go home,
come right back tomorrow, put this one behind us."
This one was a thriller from the start as Twins Gold Glove
center fielder Torii Hunter ran to his left and made a
sensational leaping catch against the wall to rob Tim Salmon of
extra bases, ending the first inning.
Anaheim drew first blood in the second, when Anderson snapped an
0-for-8 drought in the ALCS with a solo homer to right off
Minnesota starter Eric Milton.
Jones robbed Anderson of an extra-base hit in the third, when he
crashed against the left field wall for a fantastic
Milton and Jarrod Washburn locked up in a duel of lefthanders as
the Angels took a 1-0 lead to the seventh inning.
Dustan Mohr started the top of the frame with a single. Two
outs later, Jones broke out of an 0-for-18 funk with a double
off the left field wall, dropping the ball just over the head of
"He's probably one of the few lefties I play deep," Anderson
said. "When he hit it, I was just hoping it stayed in the
"I got a hit, but I don't want to talk about it because we
lost," Jones said. "That's just the way it is."
Anaheim's 18-game winner, Washburn left after the seventh,
having allowed one run and six hits while striking out seven
without a walk. Milton was almost as good, yielding a run and
five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
"Eric Milton was outstanding. He battled right along with Mr.
Washburn, like we knew it was going to be, two lefthanders just
chugging away," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
The Angels threatened the snap the tie against four relievers in
the bottom of the seventh, putting runners at second and third
with out. But second baseman Luis Rivas threw out pinch runner
Chone Figgins at the plate on Darin Erstad's ground ball.
Figgins, who ran for Bengie Molina following a leadoff walk,
argued the call at the plate, claiming A.J. Pierzynski missed
the sweep tag. Pierzynski appeared to brush his jersey as
Figgins tried swiping the plate with his left hand.
"I don't think he tagged me, because I was so far behind the
plate," Figgins said. "It was hard for him to reach back and
tag me, but I guess the umpire saw the ball beat me, so he
automatically called me out."
Mike Jackson replaced Johan Santana and walked Salmon to load
the bases. Romero then came in and got Anderson to fly out to
the warning track in right.
Rodriguez relieved Washburn to start the eighth and breezed
through the middle of the Twins' lineup, striking out Corey
Koskie and Matt LeCroy before getting Hunter to fly to left.
After appearing in only five games late in the year, Rodriguez
is the third reliever in major league history to win three games
during one postseason. The 20-year-old righthander has fanned
13 batters in just 8 1/3 innings.
"I can't believe it," he said. "It's been great. I've been in
the right spot at the right time. I'm really excited about it."
"He's pitching, obviously, as well as anyone would expect under
the circumstances of a rookie coming up," manager Mike Scioscia
added. "We have a lot of confidence in him being able to
After Glaus' homer in the bottom of the eighth, Scioscia handed
the ball to Percival, who was helped by a pair of defensive
A replacement in right field, Alex Ochoa started the inning by
lunging for Doug Mientkiewicz's liner to the gap in
right-center, then falling to the ground. Anderson ended the
game when he charged in for Pierzynski's fly ball and made a
Even though his team fell behind in the series, Gardenhire was
appreciative of the quality of play.
"Does it get any better than that?" he asked. "ALCS right
there, 2-1 baseball game. They hit a home run. We're facing
the best closer in the game. When we hit line drives
everywhere, they dive and catch them all over the place. Pretty
good baseball game."