Monday, October 21, 2002

Bad pitching steals Giants' momentum

The Associated Press

        ANAHEIM, Calif. — They hit ball after ball out of the park. They scored more runs than they had in any other game this October. But that big offensive display wasn't enough for the San Francisco Giants to overcome their own poor pitching.

        Four homers — including another monstrous shot by Barry Bonds — were wasted in the Giants' 11-10 loss to the Anaheim Angels in Game 2 of the World Series on Sunday night.

        “We did everything we could to win that game,” third baseman David Bell said. “We played well. We just didn't win it.”

        Instead of returning to Pacific Bell Park with a 2-0 Series lead and momentum from a memorable comeback, the Giants will have to recover from a tough loss.

        “It won't be hard to regroup,” first baseman J.T. Snow said. “We've been doing that all year.”

        The offense wasn't a problem.

        Bell, Reggie Sanders and Jeff Kent also homered for the Giants, who have gone deep seven times in the first two games.

        But despite the impressive display of longball, San Francisco and Anaheim are tied after two games.

        “You always want to split on the road,” Giants manager Dusty Baker said. “It would have been nice to go home 2-0, but the mindset we take is we're going home. We have three games at home. We play very well at home.”

        The Giants looked like they were out of it after Russ Ortiz was hammered in a five-run first inning. It was most runs scored in the opening inning of a Series game in 23 years — when Baltimore did it against Pittsburgh.

        “That can happen,” Ortiz said. “You can have a bad start or a bad at-bat one day. It just happens.”

        Instead of being content with a split after a 4-3 win in the opener, the Giants rallied right away.

        Bonds started it with the first of his three walks to lead off the second. He went to third on Snow's single and Sanders followed with his second homer in as many games.

        When Bell followed with a homer — just the 13th time players have gone back-to-back in World Series history — the Giants were right back in the game and dancing in their dugout.

        “It was a well-played game,” Sanders said. “When we drove in runs, they drove in runs. It was back and forth, back and forth. They just happened to come out on top.”

        San Francisco wasn't discouraged by Tim Salmon's two-run homer in the bottom half. The Giants got a run back quickly in the third when Kent led off with his first homer of the postseason.

        When San Francisco put together a four-run fifth to take a 9-7 lead it looked like the Giants were in control.

        Rich Aurilia started the rally with a double and Bonds was intentionally walked with one out.

        Benito Santiago then singled off Ben Weber to load the bases. Snow's two-run single tied it and gave the former Angel four RBIs in the first two games.

        With runners on first and third and two outs, Bell hit a grounder up the middle. Second baseman Adam Kennedy made a diving stop and flipped to shortstop David Eckstein for the force.

        Snow, running hard on the play, slid in and was ruled safe by umpire Mike Winters. Eckstein threw his arms up in disgust and briefly argued to no avail. Santiago scored the go-ahead run on the play.

        Shawon Dunston added an RBI single to make it 9-7.

        By the time the Giants got another hit, Salmon had already out the Angels on top 11-9.

        Bonds' 485-foot homer with two outs in the ninth off Troy Percival made it a one-run game. But it wasn't enough on this night.

        “He has nothing to lose in that situation,” Bonds said. “He still leads by one run and he has one out to get.”


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