ANAHEIM—Fear the monkey.
Trailing by five runs in the seventh inning of Game 6 on Saturday, Anaheim bounced off the mat with a stunning 6-5 victory over San Francisco to even the World Series at three games apiece.
Troy Glaus' two-run eighth-inning double off Robb Nen gave the Angels a one-run lead, turning Edison Field upside-down.
Troy Percival worked the ninth for the save.
With one out and no one on in the bottom of the seventh, the Angels appeared to be down for the count. Never mind their 43 comeback wins this season. Giants starter Russ Ortiz was cruising with a two-hit shutout and a five-run lead.
But back-to-back singles by Glaus and Brad Fullmer led to Ortiz's removal, as Giants manager Dusty Baker called on reliever Felix Rodriguez to get out of the jam. Rodriguez promptly served up a three-run homer to Scott Spiezio, awaking the crowd.
One inning later, the Angels struck again, turning Edison Field into a madhouse. Ex-Cub Tim Worrell served up a leadoff home run to Darin Erstad, making it a 5-4 game. Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson singled, before Nen gave up the double to Glaus. For a while it appeared as if ex-Cub Shawon Dunston would be getting fitted for his first World Series ring.
The Series edition of the Shawon-o-meter stood at .143 when Dunston came to the plate with one out and David Bell on first in the fifth inning. Batting ninth and being used as a designated hitter, Dunston yanked a 1-1 pitch from Kevin Appier over the 330-foot marker at the left-field fence, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead and silencing the crowd of 44,506 at Edison Field.
When Dunston reached home, he leaned down and kissed his batboy son, Shawon Jr., before making his way to the jubilant dugout.
Dunston's home run, the Giants' 13th in the Series, broke the record set in seven games by the 1956 New York Yankees.
After Kenny Lofton followed with a double, Appier was replaced by 20-year-old reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who eventually allowed Lofton to score on a wild pitch, making it 3-0.
Barry Bonds hit another towering home run leading off the sixth, cranking an 0-1 pitch from Rodriguez after being walked in his first two plate appearances. It was Bonds' fourth of the Series and record-setting eighth of the postseason.
The Rally Monkey reared its head in the sixth inning, but the monkey mojo failed against Ortiz, who was mowing down the Angels with relative ease.
Ortiz, who was pummeled for seven runs on nine hits over 1 2/3 innings in his Game 2 start, held the Angels hitless until Salmon reached on an infield hit with one out in the fourth inning. He lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
Jeff Kent added an RBI single off Rodriguez in the sixth to give Ortiz some insurance, but he finally ran out of steam and was replaced by Felix Rodriguez with two on in the seventh.
Rodriguez instantly gave up a three-run home run to Spiezio, pulling Anaheim within 5-3. Erstad then made it 5-4 with a home run in the eighth.
Baker, who may be the most coveted free-agent manager in history in a few days, was pulling out all stops, looking for some karmic help before Game 6. Baker said he had been wearing his 1981 World Series ring the last few weeks.
"I've been wearing it during these playoffs, when we needed some extra spiritual power," Baker explained. "I don't know who watches cartoons, but my daughter watches 'She-Ra.' She'd put the ring up [in the air] for special power. I'm wearing it for some power."
No one would have guess the power would come from the 39-year-old Dunston, who had only one previous home run in 2002.
Dunston said the long wait from first-round draft choice of the Cubs to his first World Series appearance was well worth it.
"It's not better than what I expected, but it's very nice, in fact, it's beautiful, what you always wanted," Dunston said. "My goal was to be a major-league baseball player. Everything else, playing in a World Series, was always just a dream. I never expected to go, especially after the '99 Mets lost to Braves [in the NLCS]. Then I went to the Cardinals [in 2000], and they lost to the Mets for a chance to go to the World Series. Well, look at me now."