Kent homered twice, including a timely two-run blast in the
sixth inning, scored four times and drove in four runs as the
Giants posted a pivotal 16-4 triumph over the Anaheim Angels in
Game Five of the World Series.
With the best-of-seven series tied at two games apiece and Games
Six and Seven in Anaheim, the Giants wasted little time jumping
on Angels ace Jarrod Washburn (0-2), scoring six times over the
first two innings. But Anaheim's vaunted offense got it in
gear and the Angels were within 6-4 and carrying all the
momentum in the sixth.
Anaheim reliever Ben Weber struck out Tsuyoshi Shinjo to open
the bottom of the inning and when Kenny Lofton bounced to second
base, 11 straight Giants had been set down in order. But Rich
Aurilia, who has been hitting the ball hard the last two games,
singled off the glove of third baseman Troy Glaus. Kent fouled
off Weber's next offering and completely altered the momentum
with a blast just over the left-center field fence.
A free agent following the World Series and one of the most
outspoken Giants, Kent's return to San Francisco for the 2003
season is far from a given. He has feuded with superstar Barry
Bonds and has not helped himself with an awful postseason. But
with one swing of the bat, Kent got the crowd back in the game
and gave the Giants' bullpen some room for error.
As Kent hit first base, he let out a rare smile and pumped his
"I'll have to admit I don't usually show much emotion on the
field," Kent said. "That's probably the first time I've ever
smiled like that on a home run. But I figured, that late in the
game, that play gave our bullpen enough to work with. That
play was the capper."
Lofton, who continued his torrid stretch with three hits,
delivered a two-run triple in the seventh that turned the game
into a rout and Kent made it 12-4 with a two-run shot to left
later in the inning. Kent was just 3-for-16 in the series prior
to the game.
"Jeff's homers put a whole lot more juice into us, he changed
everything with that first big swing of the bat," Giants right
fielder Reggie Sanders said.
"Jeff was big, really big," Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said.
"We needed his lift tonight."
Following Kent's second home run, he was given a rousing ovation
by the San Francisco fans, who have had a love-hate
relationship with the All-Star second baseman and former MVP.
"You can't be successful in this game in every at-bat or play in
the field," Kent said. "But if you're not, somebody on this
team will pick up. Guys have been picking me up all postseason
and tonight it was my turn to help out. What I'm most proud of
is how everyone on the team is coming up at some point."
Bonds continued his torrid hitting with a single, two doubles
and another intentional walk. He has reached base in 16 of 22
plate appearances in the series and the mercurial superstar is
within one win of the only thing to elude him in the game - a
World Series title.
"I just look to hit the baseball," Bonds said. "I want to do my
talking on the field. That's where it counts. That's where it
After a day off on Friday, the series resumes Saturday at Edison
International Field in Anaheim. The Giants will try to clinch
their first World Series title since 1954 behind Russ Ortiz
while the Angels, hoping to stave off elimination, counter with
"There was some sadness because this might have been my last
game in San Francisco," Kent added. "But I'll tell you this,
I'm really looking forward to going to Anaheim this weekend.
The next two games are bigger than any I've ever played in.
They're bigger than most all of us have played in."
"This team is awesome," Lofton said. "We've got guts, we've got
heart, we've got fire. That's what it takes to win it all and
we have to keep doing what we've been doing. ... If we get
another win, then we'll celebrate. Not before. You can't win a
seven-game series by winning three games."
As has been the case throughout the series, neither team got
much from their starting pitcher. San Francisco's Jason Schmidt
tossed four scoreless innings but could not get out of the
fifth. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings
while striking out eight.
"It was frustrating," Schmidt said. "I needed one more out and
just couldn't execute. I got a little out of whack. The ball
felt like a softball. I'd throw it up there and it would almost
stop before it went the 60 feet. It was like I just couldn't
get it there."
Chad Zerbe (1-0), who bailed Schmidt out of a fifth-inning jam
and made a key defensive play in the sixth, notched the win.
Felix Rodriguez got the final out of the sixth and Tim Worrell
worked the seventh and eighth.
Washburn was awful, allowing six runs and six hits in four
innings. He also walked five and saw his ERA in the series rise
"It was rough night. Nothing was working for me," Washburn
said. "Once we got behind we couldn't make that climb back. I
have no excuses about my performance. I'm tired, but everyone
in baseball that's still playing is tired. I've felt tired for
the last month. But again, I have to do my job and not make
excuses. I just had bad combinations out there."
After Schmidt stranded two runners in the top of the first, the
Giants broke on top with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Lofton drilled a single, and one out later, Washburn walked Kent
after getting ahead 0-2. Bonds then drilled a double into the
right field corner to score Lofton, and Benito Santiago lofted a
sacrifice fly to left.
Washburn threw just 10 of his first 31 pitches for strikes.
Schmidt struck out two of the three batters he faced in the
second and the Giants kept pounding Washburn in their half of
the inning. Lofton led off by ripping an 0-2 pitch for a base
hit and, after a spectacular defensive play by center fielder
Darin Erstad, Kent lined a double over the head of right fielder
With runners at second and third, Bonds was walked intentionally
for the sixth time in the series and Santiago answered the
challenge by lining Washburn's next offering into center field
for a two-run single. Sanders made it 6-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The Angels began chipping away in the fifth, scoring three
times, and added another run in the sixth.