Angels rally to eliminate Yankees and advance to ALCS
By Dan Whitcomb
ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Angels
rallied to clinch the ALDS with a 5-3 Game Five victory over
the New York Yankees on Monday, emerging victorious in a wild
contest that saw both starting pitchers gone by the third
The Angels rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score the go-ahead
runs when two Yankees outfielders collided trying to catch a
deep fly ball and held on to take the best-of-five series by a
Despite losing ace Bartolo Colon after the first inning to
an inflamed shoulder, the Angels set up a meeting with the
Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series.
Game One of the best-of-seven series is in Chicago on
The Yankees began the season with baseball’s biggest
payroll and high expectations, but the early exit means they
cannot add to their record 26 World Series victories, with the
title drought now stretching back to 2000.
Angels 22-year-old rookie Ervan Santana, coming in to
replace the injured Colon, was sparkling in relief after
initially giving up two early runs.
Los Angeles refused to be daunted and took the lead for
good in the second inning after Yankees outfielders Bubba
Crosby and Gary Sheffield smashed into each other near the
right field wall.
Angels left fielder Garret Anderson lead off the inning
with a solo home run. Catcher Bengie Molina followed with a
single and, two outs later Steve Finley walked.
With two-on and two-out, Adam Kennedy hit a deep fly to the
warning track where Crosby and Sheffield sprinted toward the
wall but collided, allowing the ball to drop and two runs to
Kennedy ended up on third base and was credited with a
triple on the play
Los Angeles went up 4-2 in the third when Anderson drove in
shortstop Orlando Cabrera with a sacrifice fly to left field
and added another run when Vladimir Guerrero scored on Darin
Erstad’s soft ground ball up the first base line.
The struggling Mussina was then replaced by Yankees ace
lefthander Randy Johnson, making his first relief appearance
since the 2001 World Series.
The ‘Big Unit’ held the Angels scoreless for four innings
before he was replaced by reliever Tom Gordon.
With their season on the line, Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter
led off the seventh inning with a solo home run to make the
However, Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up three
singles in the ninth inning before Hideki Matsui grounded out
to first base to end the game.