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Appier gets first win in over a month

6/23/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Darin Erstad is satisfied with his results, if
not his swings.

Erstad drove in three runs for the second straight game, and
Kevin Appier won for the first time in more than a month as the
Anaheim Angels beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Sunday to complete a
three-game sweep.

Erstad doubled and scored in the first inning. He hit a
three-run double in the second to stake Appier (6-6) to a 5-0 lead.

''Now we're starting to get it going again,'' Erstad said, ''but
I'm actually not swinging the bat that well, just finding holes.
That's the way the game goes. Sometimes you feel good and you don't
get anything, sometimes you don't feel so good and you get
something.''

The early support was more than enough for Appier, who allowed
four hits in the first six innings before tiring in the seventh.
Appier won for the first time since May 20, having gone 0-5 with an
8.31 ERA in his previous five starts.

Appier allowed a leadoff homer to Tyler Houston in the seventh
before leaving with runners on second and third and no outs. Ben
Weber came in and retired pinch-hitters Lenny Harris and Alex
Ochoa, and Alex Sanchez to preserve the 5-1 lead.

''He gets three outs in that situation, that's awesome,'' said
Appier, adding that he wasn't tired when he was pulled.

''I didn't feel winded or tired or anything,'' Appier said,
''but I really didn't know where the ball was going in the seventh
inning.''

Weber pitched a scoreless eighth and Troy Percival came on with
runners on first and third and one out in the ninth to earn his
17th save.

The Angels scored twice in the first inning against Ben Sheets
(4-7). David Eckstein led off with a single and Erstad doubled.
Eckstein scored on a groundout by Orlando Palmeiro and Garret
Anderson followed with an RBI single.

With one out in the second, Adam Kennedy and Jorge Fabregas
singled and, after a sacrifice bunt by Appier, Eckstein walked.
Erstad cleared the bases with his double just inside first base.

''This was tough,'' Milwaukee manager Jerry Royster said. ''I
had a tough time with today's loss. They beat us up the first two,
but today we didn't give ourselves a chance.''

Sheets, Milwaukee's lone All-Star last year as a rookie, allowed
five runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out four and
walked three.

''I was in trouble ... the whole time,'' Sheets said. ''I just
got behind hitters and didn't make the pitches I was trying to
make.''

Houston had three hits for the sixth time in nine games.

''We haven't hit the for a while,'' Royster said, ''except for
Houston. We have to hit to be OK.''

Game notes
Erstad is 17-for-42 in the first nine games of the current
14-game road trip. Erstad had eight hits against the Brewers and is
the all-time interleague leader with 146 hits. ... Anaheim, which
rebounded from a 6-14 start by going 21-3, is 12-3-2 in its last 17
series. ... Milwaukee and Pittsburgh have the worst record in
interleague play, both at 1-8. ... Since starting 10-1 as a rookie
last season, Sheets has won just five of his last 21 decisions.