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Four Anaheim pitchers toss four-hitter

5/2/2004

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Spot starter Aaron Sele wants to be a regular in the Anaheim rotation. Who wouldn't, with Francisco Rodriguez and
Troy Percival in the bullpen?

Sele allowed two hits in the first five innings, and Rodriguez
and Percival overpowered Minnesota in the last two, to lead the
Angels over the Twins 1-0 on Saturday night.

"I feel like I'm a starter and that comes much more naturally
than being in the bullpen still," said Sele, who was making his
first start since Sept. 26 following four relief appearances this
season.

When asked if he thought he earned a spot in the rotation with
his performance, Sele replied, "I thought I earned the starting
role in spring training."

Sele was pitching in place of Kelvim Escobar, who was a late
scratch due to a split fingernail on the middle finger of his right
hand.

Chone Figgins hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth
inning, but the excitement in the Angels locker room was about the
pitchers.

"The story today was the four guys we sent to the mound,"
manager Mike Scioscia said.

Kevin Gregg gave up two hits over two innings, and Rodriguez
(1-0) and Percival pitched one inning each to complete the
four-hitter.

Percival struck out two in a perfect ninth for his sixth save in
seven opportunities, and has not allowed an earned run against
Minnesota in 38 2-3 innings.

"We don't have anybody that's scared to take the ball in any
situation and that's all you can ask of a bullpen," Percival said.

The Angels won for the seventh time in nine games and won for
the first time in eight games when scoring three runs or less.

Brad Radke allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings for
Minnesota, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"It's tough to be on the losing end of a game like that," said
Radke, who lowered his career ERA against the Angels to 1.65 in 153
innings.

"It's just one of those days," he added. "You don't see too
many 1-0 games."

The Twins did not get a runner past second base, in being shut
out for the first time this season.

"We really didn't have too many chances to score," manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "I don't think we got a guy to second, did we?"

Jose Molina singled off Juan Rincon (4-1) with two outs and none
on in the ninth and Adam Kennedy followed with a single to right
field that chased Rincon. Aaron Fultz relieved and gave up Figgins'
go-ahead hit.

"To come up in the ninth inning and get the big hit, that's
baseball right there," an excited Figgins said.

"We got two outs and didn't finish it off," Gardenhire said.
"Then the little guy gets the hit."

Darin Erstad extended his hitting streak to nine games with a
one-out single off J.C. Romero in the eighth inning.

Minnesota threatened in the seventh when Jacque Jones led off
with a double. But Gregg got Jose Offerman to fly out to center
before striking out Henry Blanco and getting Cristian Guzman to pop
out to second.

Prior to the game, Anaheim announced that designated hitter Tim
Salmon would be placed on the 15-day disabled list with left-knee
irritation retroactive to Friday, April 30.

Game notes
The four hits allowed is a season low for the Angels. ...
Sele is 15-4 with a 3.33 ERA in his career against Minnesota. The
15 wins are the most for him against any opponent. ... Rodriguez
has 19 strikeouts and has not allowed a run in 12 2-3 innings this
year. ... Radke gave up a single to Figgins to start the game and
has allowed a hit to the first batter faced in four of six starts.
He won both games when he did not allow a hit to the first batter
and the Twins are 1-3 in the games he has. ... Lew Ford was 1-for-3
and is batting .500 (19-for-38) at home this season, which leads
the American League. ... Blanco was 0-for-3 and is hitting .111
(4-for-36) at home, while batting a league-leading .429 (12-for-28)
on the road.