David Bell's RBI single off the rookie phenom snapped an
eighth-inning tie as the Giants edged the Anaheim Angels, 4-3,
and squared the Fall Classic at two games apiece.
The 20-year-old Rodriguez (1-1) had been virtually unhittable in
October, tying a postseason record with five victories,
including one in Game Two in which he retired all nine batters
But J.T. Snow opened the eighth with a single and took second
when the righthander's pitch glanced off the glove of catcher
Reggie Sanders could not get down a bunt, popping out in foul
territory as first baseman Scott Spiezio made a diving catch.
Bell followed with a single into center field, and a sliding
Snow easily beat center fielder Darin Erstad's throw.
"We knew he threw a lot of sliders," said Snow, who continues to
haunt his former team. "The first time we saw him we thought he
majored on the fastball, but it was the slider and we were
fooled all the time. We adjusted. But shoot, we still only got
two hits off the guy. That's not like we dominated him. He's a
good young pitcher."
"You want to come through in those clutch situations," Bell
said. "Hey, the guy is good, all we got was two hits and a
passed ball off him. We'll see him again."
Rodriguez tried to take his first postseason defeat in stride.
"I felt great tonight and it didn't work out," Rodriguez said.
"I will do my best tomorrow. A couple mistakes, a couple balls
were left up, and they took advantage. I'm not going to worry
"We might be getting a little spoiled by Francisco," Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's just come in and virtually
been incredible. He's virtually gotten everybody out, for the
most part. We know that is not the life of a pitcher. Those
guys are good hitters, they put good swings on the ball and are
going to get their share of hits."
Robb Nen, reportedly battling arm stiffness, allowed a one-out
single by Adam Kennedy but got pinch hitter Brad Fullmer to
bounce into a game-ending double play. Nen is 7-for-7 in
postseason save opportunities.
Tim Worrell, who retired the heart of Anaheim's lineup in order
in the eighth, notched the victory.
"Obviously, it was a big game for us," Worrell said. "We needed
to put up a string of zeros to give our offense a chance. Our
whole staff was able to make good pitches and get out of some
The Giants erased a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the fifth off
Anaheim rookie starter John Lackey. The Angels got a bit
sloppy on defense, and Benito Santiago followed Barry Bonds'
third intentional walk of the game with a key RBI single.
The third one-run game of the series assured a return to
Disneyland for Game Six on Saturday. However, the pivotal fifth
game is Thursday, with the Giants pinning their hopes on Game
One winner Jason Schmidt and the Angels countering with ace
lefthander Jarrod Washburn, who dropped the series opener.
"Now it's a best of three," Snow said. "We have to take it
day-by-day, game-by-game, pitch-by-pitch. We did a good job to
battle back, just like we have all year. If you keep playing
hard, eventually you can find a way."
"We definitely love playing in front of our home fans," Angels
shortstop David Eckstein said. "We're more focused on taking
care of business tomorrow. We've taken it one game at a time,
one pitch at a time, all year. There's no reason to start doing
things differently now."
After watching their pitchers get ripped over the last two
games, San Francisco had a reason to be concerned when Kirk
Rueter got off to a shaky start.
Anaheim threatened in the first, scored a run in the second on a
sacrifice fly by David Eckstein and tacked on two more in the
third on Troy Glaus' two-run homer - his third of the series and
seventh of the postseason, tying Bonds for the all-time mark.
But the Giants' lefthander settled down and cruised through the
next three innings, finding a way to throttle the Angels'
red-hot offense. He was helped by a pair of inning-ending
double plays and ended up allowing three runs and nine hits in
"Rueter pitched really well," Angels center fielder Darin Erstad
said. "He kept us off balance. Every pitch was moving. He had
a lot of movement on his pitches."
San Francisco was able to get baserunners against Anaheim rookie
John Lackey but could not cash in. The primary culprit was
Santiago, who hit into bases-loaded inning-ending double plays
after walks to Bonds in the first and third innings.
In the fifth, Scioscia opted for the same strategy, but it came
back to haunt him.
Rueter beat out a chopper in front of the plate. Kenny Lofton's
bunt rolled fair, foul and fair again, as third baseman Glaus
picked it up a fraction of a second too late.
"Once it got off the line, I knew it wasn't going to go off the
line," Glaus said. "I don't know why it went foul by this much
or why the ball stayed fair. It was a perfect bunt."
"(Rueter) hustling down the line was the play of the game for
me," Giants right fielder Reggie Sanders said. "That was
awesome, to see the pitcher busting it like that. You don't
always expect pitchers to do that, but that's the way he always
plays. It picked us all up."
Rich Aurilia followed Lofton's single with an RBI hit and Jeff
Kent got San Francisco within 3-2 with a sacrifice fly. Right
fielder Tim Salmon made a wild throw to the plate, allowing
Aurilia to take second.
"When Jeff hit the sacrifice fly and I saw the ball get by, I
just bolted to second," Aurilia said. "Then I thought, 'Oh no,
they'll walk Barry. But, you know, they were going to walk him
anyway. I had to get in position to score."
After Bonds was passed, Santiago singled home Aurilia with the
"I needed to come through that third time after two double
plays," Santiago said. "I tried to keep my head up and just get
the run in.
Santiago said he just needed to make an adjustment after his
first two at-bats.
"I got too anxious," he said. "That was my trouble. I put big
swings on the balls and my bat was too slow. The third time, I
just didn't want to have a long swing."
The Angels had 10 hits, but seven came in the first three
Lackey allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings. He
walked three, struck out two and stroked a single in his first
"I just didn't get ahead enough and when you do that against a
team like that they make you pay," Lackey said. "I'm not going
to pitch well every time out. I didn't have my best stuff
tonight, but it wasn't nerves getting to me. I just didn't have
enough on my fastball."