Making the Most of Long Afternoon in the Park : Angels: After taking nearly five hours to beat the Yankees, team goes into All-Star break at .500.


Yep, just another quiet Sunday afternoon at the stadium.

Let's see here, 38 baserunners, 29 men left on base, 23 hits, 14 innings, six intentional walks and five runs--all in 4 hours 51 minutes.

The Angels and New York Yankees started their final game before the All-Star break under a cloudless sky, with former roommates Chuck Finley and Jim Abbott pitching against each other for the first time.

Almost five hours later, it was difficult to remember that they had been the starters. So much else had happened on a long, hot afternoon at Anaheim Stadium.

It began with Finley striking out leadoff hitter Bernie Williams and ended with Torey Lovullo throwing his helmet into the air in celebration of the Angels' 3-2 victory in the 14th inning.

Lovullo's joyful helmet toss provided the perfect capper to the Angels' surprising run through the first half of the season.

Presumably he was celebrating his game-winning, run-scoring single and not simply the end of the Angels' longest game of the season. Or maybe it was sheer relief that he didn't have to wake up this morning, look at the box score in the newspaper and see 0 for 7 next to his name. Then again, it could have had something to do with the Yankees walking batters ahead of him not once, not twice, but three times with runners in scoring position.

Twice the Yankees got away with it, but he made them pay with a bases-loaded single in the 14th.

"Everybody in the bullpen knew he was going to come through," said reliever Mike Butcher, who sat through 14 restless innings hoping the end would come soon, so he could head off to Catalina Island with Chili Davis for the All-Star break.

"We all came down from the perch (the platform above the left-field fence) and went to the bullpen gate to watch."

When Lovullo finally ended it with a line drive over center fielder Williams' head, the relief pitchers sprinted toward the infield to give the second baseman high fives.

Winning turned a long afternoon in the sun into something memorable.

"Oh, hey, listen, No. 1, we're at the .500 mark at the break," said reliever Steve Frey, who pitched a hitless 13th inning. "And to win a game like that, to come back and tie it after we were down, 2-0, then come back and win was just tremendous. It makes the All-Star break a little nicer."

At the break, the Angels are 43-43, tied for fourth place with Seattle and only two games behind American League West-leading Chicago.

Perhaps that's why Davis bristled when somebody asked him about the surprising performances of the "Angels' kids" in the first half.

"The only kids I see in this clubhouse are mine," he said. "All the other guys in here are major league players."

Times have changed. When spring training started, Davis jokingly suggested his new teammates wear name tags so he could put names with faces.

"We've played OK," said Davis, who has 64 runs batted in, two shy of his total for 1992. "You have a small amount of satisfaction in playing well, but the moment is here and gone."

Sunday, the moment seemed as if it would never come.

Davis was intentionally walked three times, helping the Angels tie a league record with five intentional walks in an extra inning game. The Yankees also walked Tim Salmon twice, setting up bases-loaded situations for Lovullo.

"I just think if we were going to be out there for as long as we were, we might as well win," Davis said.

And so they did.


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