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ALCS: Mays just sticks with strengths

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- So how, Bradenton product Joe Mays was asked, could he top his sterling pitching performance for the Twins in the ALCS opener last week?

"I don't want to top that," Mays said. "If I go out there and give the team eight strong again like that, my job is to go out there and give the team a chance to win a ballgame."

Mays was dominating in Game 1, allowing four hits and an unearned run over eight innings. He said the key was pitching his game, concentrating on location, not velocity. With the Twins facing elimination, they can only hope he can be just as good.

"I know I had a lot of questions prior to the game about how much video we watched on the Yankees and how their hitters approached the game," said Mays, who played at Southeast High and Manatee Community College. "I told the guys, we had some good scouts and we had a good game plan. The game plan was to go with my strengths."

YOUNG GUN: Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez has three victories -- the first pitcher to win three games in the postseason before winning any in the regular season -- and 15 strikeouts in 91/3 innings.

HAVING FUN: For some Angels, the most amazing sight from Friday's win was Garret Anderson's smile.

Anderson said he called former teammates Chili Davis and Jim Edmonds and asked them for advice about his first trip to the postseason. They both told him to play hard and to have fun. So that explains the happy look after his sliding catch for the final out of Anaheim's 2-1 victory.

"It's the emotion of the postseason," he said. "It's a fun time of year."

MISCELLANY: The meaningless ninth-inning run allowed by Ben Weber was the first given up by the Angels bullpen in the series. ... The Angels have scored 10 of their 15 runs in the sixth inning or later. ... The Twins used five pitchers in the eighth inning. ... Minnesota's Corey Koskie set an ALCS record with his sixth straight strikeout.

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