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Angels Beaten by the Yankee Kicking Team, 7-6 : Despite Six Errors, New York Tops Mauch and Moore With a Run in Ninth

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Times Staff Writer

The Angels were treated to some old-fashioned Bronx hospitality Saturday afternoon. In a game as grimy as some of the back alleys that snake their way around Yankee Stadium, the Angels not only were beaten, 7-6, by the New York Yankees but also were taunted and teased, led on and suckered by the shell game down on the corner.

In front of a crowd of 25,114, the Yankees played this one dirty. Their defense committed six errors, the sixth one being just enough to make the Angels believe they had a chance in the ninth inning. Their manager, Lou Piniella, outmaneuvered the Angels’ Gene Mauch once, then arranged for another brain teaser in the ninth. Their offense pummeled Donnie Moore once but was accommodating enough to arrange a rematch two innings later.

All the while, the Angels played along, thinking they really might be able to end a three-game losing streak.

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It was a cruel joke. The streak went to four, bringing the Angels back to the .500 level (21-21) for the first time since April 17, when they were 5-5.

And they were shown the way by a couple of pitchers deemed over the hill and out of their plans in 1985--Tommy John and Al Holland. In fact, John is still on their payroll, with the Angels responsible for all but $60,000 of his 1986 salary.

This is what’s known as kicking a team when it is down.

The final indignity of the afternoon was provided by Yankee third baseman Mike Pagliarulo, who committed two errors, including the one that enabled the Angels to rally for a 6-6 tie in the top of the ninth. But in the bottom of the inning, Pagliarulo grounded a two-out single beyond the reach of a diving Wally Joyner to score Ken Griffey with the decisive run.

Credit Pagliarulo with this much: On a day when reprieves were thrown around as often as the baseball, he was the one able to take advantage of a second chance.

Mauch wasn’t able to.

In the seventh inning, Mauch summoned two pitchers from the bullpen after starter Ron Romanick left with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The first, Terry Forster, made two pitches and yielded a single to Don Mattingly. The second, Moore, yielded back-to-back home runs to Griffey, who was pinch-hitting for pinch-hitter Gary Roenicke, and Dave Winfield.

That put the Angels behind, 6-4. But two runs in the top of the ninth set up another Mauch-Piniella chess match. Mauch lost that one, too.

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Mainly, Mauch lost because Moore threw away his chance for atonement. There was life for Moore after his miserable seventh inning, but the Yankees made sure it wasn’t pleasant.

Griffey, again, pestered Moore. He opened the bottom of the ninth with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt. After Moore intentionally walked Mike Easler, Butch Wynegar flied out to deep right field, enabling Griffey to tag and advance to third base.

That brought up Pagliarulo, who had made this showdown necessary by kicking Bob Boone’s grounder in the top of the ninth, enabling George Hendrick to race home from third with the tying run. With .246-hitting shortstop Bobby Meacham on deck, Moore pitched to Pagliarulo.

Pagliarulo ended the game.

Mauch said he decided to pitch to Pagliarulo because he figured that Piniella would have pinch-hit for Meacham with left-handed batter Ron Hassey.

“Why would I want to pitch to Hassey in the ninth with the bases loaded and make Donnie throw strikes?” Mauch said. “That makes no sense, as far as I can see.”

Moore said his arm is still weakened from his 12-day layoff earlier this month because of a sore shoulder.

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“I’ve got to get it stronger,” Moore said. “Even my last time out in Baltimore (last Monday), I had to rely on my slider and my breaking ball. My fastball was not overpowering.”

Griffey and Winfield found that out in the seventh inning. Moore showed both of them fastballs.

Griffey and Winfield showed both fastballs the outfield seats.

But Mauch was more distressed with what transpired before the two home runs, pointing to the eight runners the Angels left on base in the first six innings.

“By the time we reached the bottom of the sixth, it should have been 6-1 in our favor,” Mauch said. “All we have to do is play our game--A, B, C.”

But in seven innings against John and Holland, all the Angels could muster were two earned runs and two gift runs.

John allowed seven hits through five innings but left the game tied at 2-2. John got 10 of his 15 outs via his old favorite, the ground ball.

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“TJ pitched like he did for us a couple times last year,” Mauch noted.

The Angel manager was more surprised by Holland’s two innings of middle relief--three hits, two unearned runs and three strikeouts. This by a pitcher whom the Angels acquired last August and released by early October.

“He kept the ball in the ballpark,” Mauch said. “The only time I brought him in here last year, Don Baylor hit a fastball out of the place.

“But he’s spent more time here than he did with us. He went through spring training with them. Maybe he’s more comfortable now.”

Or maybe he’s a left-hander. The Yankees threw three of them--John, Holland and winner Dave Righetti--at the Angels Saturday. Piniella is a rookie manager, but by now, the Angel Achilles’ heel might as well be plastered on billboards. The Angels are 2-10 against left-handed starting pitching this season.

And they face another today. Word is he’s pretty good.

His name is Ron Guidry.

All aboard the southbound train.

Angel Notes

Ex-Angels Tommy John and Al Holland had different reactions to their winning contributions against their former team. John said that facing the Angels held no special motivation for him. “Last year, when I pitched against them for Oakland, it might have been more emotionally packed for me,” he said. “But not now. This is going to be the last year I play. I’m just having fun. I want to enjoy my last year of competitive baseball.” Holland, however, had last year in the back of his mind when he took the mound Saturday. “They weren’t interested in me, and I wasn’t interested in them,” Holland said. “Anaheim was too far away from home, too laid-back, too relaxing of an atmosphere. I didn’t think (the Angels) cared too much about me. When they didn’t re-sign me, I wasn’t that upset.” . . . John left the game after the fifth inning after straining his back in a collision at first base with Ruppert Jones. John was covering first and dropped the relay from Don Mattingly when Jones reached the base. Both players went sprawling after Jones was called safe. “I thought Ruppert did a good job of taking it easy on me,” John said. “He could have annihilated me.” . . . When he was with the Angels, John signed a multiyear contract worth $500,000. The contract expires this year, but the Angels are still responsible for $440,000 of it. A comment from John? “Thanks, Buzzie.”

Saturday, the Angels filed their protest of Friday’s loss to the Yankees amid long odds and wishful thinking. The Angels played the game under protest after Rickey Henderson collided with second baseman Bobby Grich while running to second on an infield grounder. Because first baseman Wally Joyner fielded the ball, umpire John Shulock said that Grich was an accessory to the play and had thus obstructed Henderson. The Angels contend that Grich would have been the fielder had Henderson not interfered with Grich.

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Bob Boone threw out Henderson on an attempted steal of second in the first inning. It was only the fifth time in 36 attempts that Henderson has been caught stealing this year. The last catcher to throw out the American League’s stolen-base leader was Kansas City’s Jim Sundberg, who accomplished the feat on April 21. . . . The last time the Yankees committed six errors in a game was Aug. 24, 1975. The opposing team then was also the Angels, but the Angels won that one, 4-3.

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