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Gallagher’s Bases-Loaded Double Lifts Angels to .500

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Angel outfielder Dave Gallagher gained a measure of satisfaction by preventing his former team from gaining ground in the AL West.

Gallagher’s bases-clearing double in the eighth inning Thursday off White Sox reliever Brian Drahman completed the Angels’ second rally of the game and gave them a 7-4 victory over Chicago at Anaheim Stadium.

Gallagher broke a 4-4 tie and lifted the Angels to .500 at 70-70. The White Sox, who had released Gallagher to the Baltimore Orioles last season, stayed 8 1/2 games behind the Twins.

Chicago, held by Angel starter Chuck Finley after Robin Ventura’s third-inning home run, swarmed all over reliever Mark Eichhorn in the eighth and took a 4-3 lead.

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Finley, who had cruised through the middle innings and appeared on the verge of his 18th victory, was relieved by Eichhorn after giving up a single to Frank Thomas.

Eichhorn walked Carlton Fisk and gave up a two-run double to Dan Pasqua, who batted for Bo Jackson. That tied the game, 3-3. Pasqua took third base on a ground out and scored on Lance Johnson’s single to right field.

The Angel rally gave Eichhorn (3-2) an unlikely triumph. Melido Perez (7-5), who gave up a double to Dave Winfield and an RBI single to Gary Gaetti, was charged with the loss. Bryan Harvey earned his 39th save with a perfect ninth inning.

Chicago starter Roberto Hernandez, a 1986 Angel draft pick, lasted only 2 2/3 innings. Hernandez gave up three runs on five hits in his third major league start.

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In the third inning, Ventura became only the fifth left-handed hitter to homer off Finley in the Angel left-hander’s career by blasting a 3-and-2 pitch over the fence in center field, a drive measured at 421 feet. Ventura joined Fred Lynn, George Brett, Kevin Maas and Rafael Palmeiro in the group.

The Angels didn’t trail for long, grabbing a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Gallagher touched off the effort with a chopper to shortstop for a hit. After being held at third base when catcher John Orton lined an opposite-field double down the line in right field, Gallagher scored on Luis Polonia’s grounder.

Orton, who moved to third base on the play, scored when Dick Schofield hit a bouncer off the glove of Thomas for a hit. Schofield took second when Hernandez’s 0-and-1 pitch to Wally Joyner eluded catcher Carlton Fisk, and Schofield scored on Joyner’s single to center.

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