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Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Angels win big without long ball

October 23, 2002

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— The Anaheim Angels didn't need home runs or a designated hitter just a chance to hit.

The Angels became the first team in World Series history to bat around in consecutive innings, scoring four runs in the third and fourth to beat the San Francisco Giants, 10-4, in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

"It just puts pressure on the pitcher when you hit line drive after line drive," Anaheim's Garret Anderson said. "We've pretty much done this all year."

The Angels continued their postseason pattern of losing the first game and responding with a vengeance.

l They lost to the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the division series before winning three straight.

l They lost to the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of the AL championship series before winning four in a row.

l And they lost to the Giants in the Series opener before winning the next two.

"They're good, they put the ball in play," San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds said. "They don't really have too many holes throughout that lineup. They're a good-hitting team and that's what they do. They're in the American League, but they have a lot of National League-type players."

The Angels led the majors with a .282 batting average during the season and they've picked it up in October, hitting .335 in 12 games and scoring 84 runs.

They've done even better in three games against the Giants, batting .353 and scoring 24 runs.

"Pretty cool, huh? I can believe it, these guys are good hitters," Anaheim pitcher Jarrod Washburn said. "Right now, we're in that groove. I wouldn't want to be pitching to us."

Even hitting coach Mickey Hatcher can't explain Anaheim's incredible surge.

"We just sit back and watch them go," he said with a smile. "We've gone through streaks like this before this season, we won 21 of 24.

"Right now, these guys are having a blast."

Leadoff hitter David Eckstein said one thing that makes a difference is the Angels aren't afraid to strike out.

"We're willing to go deep in the count," he said. "We do not go with the same approach we're constantly making adjustments."

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