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Gagne saves day in Southern Cal shootout

6/29/2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers scored two runs
when routine flyballs weren't caught, and manager Jim Tracy thinks
there's a reason.

"You create good luck for yourself. You don't sit around and
wait for it,'' Tracy said Friday night after the Dodgers beat the
Anaheim Angels 7-5 to increase their NL West lead to 3½ games over
Arizona.

Pinch-runner Cesar Izturis scored the go-ahead run in the eighth
inning on a flyball that dropped in right-center field after center
fielder Darin Erstad took his eye off the ball to glance at right
fielder Tim Salmon, just behind him.

Although Izturis probably would have scored on the one-out fly
by Mark Grudzielanek, Erstad's misplay allowed him to score without
having to beat a throw to the plate.

"I messed up. I'm not perfect,'' Erstad said. "You just don't
want those things to happen. Regardless if there's no play at the
plate, that ball's got to be caught. I take full responsibility.''

Los Angeles tied it at 5 in the sixth inning when Salmon lost
Alex Cora's fly in the lights, allowing one run to score on Cora's
triple.

Eric Gagne got the last four outs for his major league-leading
29th save in 30 chances.

Talking about creating opportunities, Tracy said, "Mark
Grudzielanek gave us as professional an at-bat as you could when he
fouled off pitches, then hit the ball to right. Caught or not
caught, Izturis was going to score from third.''

With two strikes, Grudzielanek fouled off three pitches from
Scott Shields (0-1) before hitting the flyball.

"In a situation like that, you just want to try to get a good
pitch. He made some tough pitches,'' Grudzielanek said.

There was neither a hit nor an error on the play because Salmon
picked up the ball and threw to second for a forceout on Adrian
Beltre.

Before a lively sellout crowd of 43,690 that appeared equally
divided between Angels and Dodgers fans, the Angels dropped to 4½
games behind AL West leader Seattle.

Izturis was running for Dave Hansen, who singled off Shields.
Izturis went from first to third on Beltre's bloop single.

Shawn Green's RBI groundout in the ninth gave the Dodgers a
two-run lead.

Giovanni Carrara (5-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the victory.
Gagne retired Scott Spiezio with runners on the corners to end the
eighth, then struck out Erstad on a 3-2 pitch to end it with a
runner on second.

The Angels did all their scoring against Andy Ashby in the
fourth inning. Troy Glaus keyed the rally with a three-run homer,
and Brad Fullmer had a solo shot.

Los Angeles tied it 5-all in the sixth after Grudzielanek
singled with one out to chase starter Kevin Appier, then scored on
Cora's hit.

Glaus' 15th homer ended his 0-for-14 slump and keyed the
five-run outbreak as Anaheim rallied from a 3-0 deficit.

The Dodgers cut the lead to 5-4 in fifth, when Dave Roberts led
off with a double and scored from third on Eric Karros' RBI single.

Los Angeles scored the first three runs in the fourth inning.
Hansen had an RBI double, Grudzielanek an RBI single, and Beltre a
run-scoring groundout.

The sellout was only the Angels' second of the season. The other
came on Opening Day against Cleveland, when they drew 42,697.

Game notes
The Angels demoted LHP Scott Schoeneweis to the bullpen and
called up RHP John Lackey from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace him in
the rotation. ... Anaheim RHP Al Levine was placed on the 15-day
disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder. ... Los
Angeles reserve C Chad Kreuter was put on the 15-day disabled list
with a hematoma, or pooling of blood, in his left shin. C David
Ross was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas.