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No need for longballs

Giants get another Barry Bonds homer but can't slow Anaheim bats.

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 23, 2002


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Angels say they have the utmost respect for what Barry Bonds is doing in the World Series. As much as they have been circling the bases, it's polite they even acknowledge they have noticed.

Bonds claimed another piece of history Tuesday by homering in his third consecutive Series game, but the Angels claimed something much bigger, a 10-4 victory that gave them a two games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Angels have become, quite simply, one of the most offensive teams in postseason history.

They have averaged seven runs (a record 84 runs in 12 games), hit .333, batted around six times and Tuesday became just the fourth team to score 10 or more runs in back-to-back Series games.

"In the past, we've been able to put a dent in teams when they're going like this and frustrate them," Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said.

"We haven't been able to do that. Those guys are on top of their game. I'm sure they're feeling pretty good about themselves right now."

And why not?

After losing the opener, the Angels have roared back to win the next two games. If that sounds familiar, it should. They lost the opener in the first two rounds then bounced back to sweep the remaining games.

"Here's our philosophy," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're not looking at anything past tomorrow's game. We'll let everyone else add them up and let us know how we're doing."

The Angels were doing pretty well Tuesday. They rapped 16 hits, knocking around and then knocking out San Francisco starter Livan Hernandez, who had been 6-0 with a 2.84 ERA in eight previous postseason starts, ruining the night for the 42,707 fans who attended the first Series game at picturesque Pac Bell Park.

"It was a tough night for us," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "They were hitting. They've been hitting the past two games. Hopefully, they hit themselves out."

Bonds became the first player to hit home runs in each of his first three World Series games and only the second to hit home runs in each of the first three games of a Series, joining Hank Bauer, who did so for the Yankees in 1958.

Bonds also became the first player to hit seven home runs in a single postseason. The Giants also leapfrogged past Anaheim and took over the record for most homers in a postseason with 22.

"Barry is doing his thing," Baker said. "He's doing what he's capable of doing. He doesn't surprise us because we've been watching him for a long time. Barry is swinging the bat great.

"Hopefully, we can get some other guys in on the hit parade."

Down 1-0, the Angels came back strong in the third, taking advantage of a leadoff walk and an error by third baseman David Bell to score four times.

By the time they were done, they had sent nine men to the plate and forced Hernandez to throw 42 pitches.

Then they came back and did it again, scoring four more and becoming the first Series team to bat around in consecutive innings.

"Those pair of fours made it a very tough deficit," Baker said.

That, the Angels said, was the plan.

"The idea is to keep pressing, to keep pouring it on as much as you can regardless of the score," said Darin Erstad, who had three hits and extended his hit streak to all 12 postseason games. "You can't just lay back. It's like playing prevent defense in football. It's not a good thing to do.

"If anything, we probably up our intensity a little bit. 'Killer instinct?' I guess you can call it that. That's not something we say to each other. But we understand it's very important to put runs on the board."

"No matter how many runs we score, we feel that the at-bat we have going up there is a huge at-bat," said Scott Spiezio, who was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. "We're going to give it everything we have to get on base. That's the key to this team."

The Giants made a brief rally with three in the fifth, but the Anaheim bullpen again did the job, with Brendan Donnelly and Scott Schoeneweis allowing one hit over the final four innings.

Game 4 is tonight, and the Angels have history on their side. Of the first 49 Series to be tied 1-1, the team winning Game 3 has won the championship 32 times.

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