Glaus hit a tiebreaking homer off J.C. Romero in the eighth
inning, and the Angels got two great catches in the ninth to beat
the Twins 2-1 Friday night to take a 2-1 series lead.
"It's fun playing in the postseason,'' Glaus said. "That's why
we put all the time and effort in in spring training.''
Garret Anderson's second-inning homer off Eric Milton had put
the Angels ahead, and Jarrod Washburn seemed unstoppable until
Jacque Jones' RBI double to left over Anderson in the seventh,
which ended an 0-for-18 skid.
Then came the "rally monkey,'' who during the regular season appears only when the Angels trail after the fifth inning. Like closer Troy Percival, he's coming in a little earlier than usual during the postseason.
Anaheim failed to get a run despite advancing a runner to third
with one out in the seventh, but Glaus led off the eighth with his
fourth homer of the postseason, an opposite-field drive into the
right-field bleachers off Romero, the Twins' fifth pitcher.
Percival closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save of the postseason. He got a fine diving catch from right fielder Alex Ochoa on Doug Mientkiewicz's sinking liner for the first out and a sliding catch in shallow left by Anderson on a soft fly by A.J. Pierzynski that ended the game.
"They were both fantastic catches,'' Percival said. "That last one, I thought there was no chance in the world at it, because I know Garret was playing fairly deep with a lefty up covering that gap. But he comes in on the ball better than anybody I've seen in left field. I'm glad to have him out there.''
Anaheim, 3-0 at home in the playoffs, has become as dominant at
Edison International Field as the Twins are at the Metrodome. The
crowd of 44,234, nearly all wearing red, banged their Thunder Stix
from start to finish, getting especially fired up when the "rally monkey'' started appearing on the right-field video board in the bottom of the seventh.
"It's fantastic. I've never seen so much fan support,'' Percival said. "It's a great feeling to come home and play in an atmosphere like this. It's like playing in Yankee Stadium -- but with the fans behind us.''
Even Torii Hunter and the other Twins outfielders looked up at
the board as the monkey appeared in scenes from "Animal House,''
"Risky Business'' and "Star Trek.''
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire called the Thunder Stix "very
"But I'm sure our (Homer) Hankies get irritating,'' he said. "It was very exciting to sit in the dugout and look up at the fans cheering. That's what this game is all about.''
With the next two games in the best-of-seven series at home, the Angels send John Lackey to the mound Saturday night against Brad Radke, hoping to move within a victory of the first World Series appearance in the 42-season history of the franchise.
Washburn was dominant. He started his first 12 batters with
strikes, allowed just two leadoff batters to reach base and went to
a three-ball count twice.
He gave up six hits -- all singles until Jones' double -- struck
out seven and walked none in seven innings before turning it over
to the best bullpen in baseball. Francisco Rodriguez improved to
3-0 in the postseason by striking out two in a perfect eighth.
Milton, 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five career starts at Anaheim
coming in, was hurt only by Anderson, his least-favorite Angels
batter. Anderson, a .364 (8-for-22) hitter with four homers off
Milton coming in, turned on a 91 mph chest-high pitch leading off
the second inning, depositing it in the right-field bleachers.
Hunter had helped him out in the first inning when he jumped at
the warning track and reached high against the fence to catch a
drive by Tim Salmon, back in the lineup after leaving Game 2 with a
tight right hamstring.
Anaheim nearly went ahead in the seventh when Bengie Molina walked against LaTroy Hawkins leading off. Benji Gil sacrificed and David Eckstein singled, a ball that went just off the webbing of the glove of second baseman Luis Rivas, who tried for a leaping grab.
Pinch-runner Chone Figgins went to third, and Johan Santana came
in to face Darin Erstad. He threw a wild pitch that bounced about
40 feet up the third-base line, but Figgins held as Eckstein
Erstad then grounded to Rivas, who threw out Figgins at the
plate. Mike Jackson walked Salmon, loading the bases, and Anderson
flied to the right-field warning track against Romero.
Minnesota's Dustin Mohr, who replaced Michael Cuddyer in
right field, made his first start since going 0-for-6 against
Cleveland on Sept. 25. Mohr went 2-for-3. ... Anaheim's Shawn
Wooten had a hit-and-run single on his 12th pitch from Milton in
the second inning.