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Angels take one from the Giants, move to 2-1

By Ben Walker The Associated Press
Wednesday October 23, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — Pac Bell Park was pumped. 

Tony Bennett serenaded the crowd with his signature song, Willie Mays threw out the first ball and Barry Bonds even hit another huge home run. 

If only the Angels had left their bats and hearts in Anaheim. 

Relentless again at the plate and on the bases, Scott Spiezio and the Angels trampled the San Francisco Giants 10-4 Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series. 

“We’re doing the little things it takes to win games. That’s why we’re here,” Spiezio said. 

Spiezio drove in three runs, Darin Erstad had three hits and Anaheim battered Livan Hernandez, the postseason ace who recently boasted, “I never lose in October.” 

The Angels became the first team in Series history to bat around in consecutive innings, with a flood of hits, walks and steals making it 8-1 in the fourth. 

And suddenly, the lines at the wine stands and garlic fries counter got a little longer. This party, San Francisco-style, was all but over for the 42,707 fans. Even the guy who climbed the mast of a sailboat bobbing in McCovey Cove beyond the right-field wall soon was gone. 

The Angels finished with 16 hits in keeping up a familiar pattern. They’ve lost the opener in all three of their postseason series this year, then didn’t lose again. 

“We’ve been through tough times before,” Erstad said. “We have it rolling right now.” 

A disappointing night for the Giants, who joined in listening to Bennett sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” from the mound before the first pitch. 

Bonds did his best, becoming the first player to homer in his first three Series games. His 437-foot, two-run shot to center field came in the fifth, the same inning Rich Aurilia connected for the Giants, but only made it 8-4. 

Bonds set a postseason record with his seventh home run and also drew two more walks. 

With 13 homers already, Anaheim and San Francisco are only four short of the record for any Series. The long balls are sure to further increase speculation that juiced balls are being used — commissioner Bud Selig insists it’s not so — but the Angels proved little ball works just fine, too. 

“We scored a lot of runs today and we didn’t hit any home runs. We have a lot of guys that are gap hitters,” Spiezio said. 

Every Angels starter except winning pitcher Ramon Ortiz got a hit. No DH, no worry. And they coasted despite setting a nine-inning Series record by leaving 15 runners on base. 

Hernandez was chased after 3 2-3 innings, the worst start of a glittery postseason career that had seen him go 6-0. Instead, he looked like the pitcher who tied for the NL lead in losses, which he did with 16. 

Now, John Lackey will start for the Angels in Game 4 Wednesday night. He’ll be pitching on his 24th birthday against Kirk Rueter. 

The fans were ready for fun from the start as Pacific Bell hosted its first Series game. After Bennett sang the city’s favorite song, Mays threw out the ball to Bonds, his godson. 

The Angels scored four times in third and four more in the fourth for an 8-1 lead. Spiezio, who dyed Angel red streaks into his hair and goatee before Game 1, was in the middle of both big innings. 

After an error by sure-handed third baseman David Bell paved the way in the third, Spiezio lined a two-run triple to the deepest part of the field. The ball rolled to the 421-foot mark at the oddly angled corner in right-center field, and a really fast runner might’ve had a chance at the first Series inside-the-park homer since Mule Haas of the Philadelphia Athletics did it in 1929. 

Hernandez was pulled after Garret Anderson’s RBI grounder in the fourth, set up when the Angels alertly pulled a double steal as the Giants’ infield overshifted to the right side. 

The Angels poured it on with hits against — and off — reliever Jay Witasick. Spiezio pulled a ball to right, Adam Kennedy hit a liner off Witasick’s right elbow and Bengie Molina delivered Anaheim’s third straight RBI single. 

David Eckstein hit an RBI single in the sixth and the Angels added a run in the eighth when the Giants botched a comebacker.