For Angels, There Is No June Gloom
The Month the Angels Didn’t Want to End finally came to a close Tuesday night, but not without some stark reminders of just about every ingredient that went into the team’s record-setting June.
The Angels’ 4-3 interleague victory over the San Francisco Giants before 25,629 at Edison Field featured clutch hitting--Garret Anderson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Angels a 4-1 lead.
There was solid starting pitching--Angel left-hander Chuck Finley giving up three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings and working his way out of a few tight spots.
There was superb relief work, as Shigetoshi Hasegawa got Rich Aurilia to ground into a 6-3 double play with runners on first and second to end the seventh, and Greg Cadaret struck out J.T. Snow swinging to open the eighth and Bill Mueller looking with two on to end the eighth.
And what victory would be complete without a Troy Percival save? Percival walked Barry Bonds to open the ninth and Bonds stole second. But the closer got Charlie Hayes to fly to center and Stan Javier to fly to left, ending Javier’s consecutive on-base streak at eight.
Aurilia then hit a towering foul pop well beyond the third-base bag, and shortstop Gary DiSarcina raced over to make the game-ending catch--marking the fifth inning Aurilia ended with an out and closing Percival’s league-leading 25th save.
The Angels, who pushed their lead over Texas in the American League West to 3 1/2 games, finished 22-6 in June, coming from behind in 12 of those victories.
“I think I’ll just leave this thing alone,” Angel Manager Terry Collins said, looking at his desk-top calendar. “I don’t expect us to have months like this the rest of the season. If we do, great, at least we know we have the capabilities.
“But what we want to do is keep adding on. We don’t have a goal to win 22 games every month, we just want to keep winning two of three, keep winning series. If we do that, by the end of September we’ll be in good shape.”
The Angels weren’t in great shape for much of Tuesday night, trailing the Giants, 1-0, through five innings and having a heck of a time trying to solve left-hander Shawn Estes.
Then came a breakthrough in the sixth. Dave Hollins opened with a single to center, and Jim Edmonds followed with a dribbler to second, which he beat out for an infield single.
Tim Salmon, starting for the first time since June 22, then drilled a double off the right-field wall, which scored Hollins, advanced Edmonds to third and sent Javier, the Giants’ right fielder, scrambling for cover, as the shattered remains of several scoreboard lightbulbs rained down on him.
With the infield halfway in, Cecil Fielder grounded to short, the runners holding, but Anderson drilled an Estes’ pitch for his 10th homer to make it 4-1.
SETBACK: Allen Watson, scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday, will remain there after cutting his wrist opening a beer. C6