ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Hard to believe a little ol' monkey could
have done all this.
The Anaheim Angels were trailing by five runs in the seventh
inning and the victory platform was all set up in the Giants'
clubhouse, ready for speeches and crazy champagne showers.
Then the Rally Monkey started jumping around the scoreboard, and
what followed was the greatest World Series comeback ever by a team
Troy Glaus lined a two-run double after a key misplay by Barry
Bonds in the eighth, capping a crazy rally that lifted the Angels
over San Francisco 6-5 Saturday night and sending the Series to
"I knew this team -- all it needs is a little spark,'' Scott
Spiezio said after his three-run homer got things going. "To have
the fans behind you, they never gave up. If it takes the Rally
Monkey to get them going a little bit more, we love it.''
After he homered again, Bonds had it right in his hands -- the
ball, the game, the championship.
But then it all slipped away as he bobbled Garret Anderson's
single near the left field line and fell. With the chimp going ape,
Glaus' go-ahead hit off Robb Nen capped the Angels' surge from a
"That thing was showing again, wasn't it?'' Giants outfielder
Tom Goodwin said. "It's crazy, but whatever works for them. I
mean, who knows if they believe in it, or whatever? But the fans
surely get riled up.''
Spiezio's homer in the seventh made it 5-3 and Darin Erstad's
leadoff shot started the rally in the eighth.
"There's no room for fear here, or else you're going to go
home,'' Spiezio said. "We battle until the last out of the game.
Until they kick us out of the park and say you've got to go home,
we're not giving up.''
Give credit to that Rally Monkey, too. Because once the pesky
primate showed up, the Angels and the sellout crowd of 44,506 would
not be denied.
"This is, without a doubt, his biggest moment,'' said Angels
entertainment manager Peter Bull, who operates video of the mascot.
"The success of the monkey is nothing without the players and
their ability to come back.''
The whole thing left many believing the monkey has mystical
powers. And it wasn't surprising -- look at what the underdog Angels
did to the New York Yankees and Minnesota in the playoffs.
Never before had a team trailing by five runs and facing Series
elimination come back to win. Clubs had come back from four runs,
but nothing like this.
Now, Bonds gets one final chance at the only prize that has
eluded him. A bad omen for him -- of the last seven Game 7s in the
Series, the home team has won every time.
"There was confidence, definitely,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker
said. "But the game was not over. That was a heck of a comeback by
On Sunday night, in a fitting wrapup to baseball's first all
wild-card World Series, either San Francisco or Anaheim will win
its first title. It'll be Livan Hernandez starting for the Giants
against rookie John Lackey.
Ramon Ortiz had been scheduled to start for the Angels, but the
tendinitis in his right wrist made them leery.
"It's pretty cool,'' Lackey said. "I'm excited. I'm going to
go as hard as I can and as long as I can and see what happens.''
Reliever Brendan Donnelly was the Game 6 winner and Troy
Percival pitched the ninth for his second save of the Series.
Tim Worrell took the loss. For Nen, it was a familiar sight --
the Rally Monkey made its debut at Anaheim on June 6, 2000, and on
that day, the Angels rallied to beat the Giants reliever in the
bottom of the ninth.
Unstoppable at the plate, Bonds hit his fourth home run of the
Series, a solo shot in the sixth off Francisco Rodriguez that made
it 4-0. When Kenny Lofton scored in the seventh, the World Series
trophy was clearly in the Giants' grasp behind the shutout pitching
of Russ Ortiz.
But the resilient Angels and their fans never gave up, never
left the building -- though they also play in Southern California,
this isn't a Dodgers crowd.
The monkey started hopping in the sixth and by the seventh, the
Giants had pulled Ortiz. Spiezio greeted reliever Felix Rodriguez
with his homer, and the momentum had turned.
Erstad's homer was the fourth of the game and 21st of the
Series, setting a record. The drive also set the Angels' main man,
their monkey, into hysterics.
But when Bonds bobbled the ball and dropped it -- he's past his
prime as a Gold Glove -- Anderson took second. Baker opted for his
relief ace, yet Nen could not stop the rising storm as Glaus
doubled to the gap in deep left-center.
Bonds also dropped that ball as he tried to pick it up. Glaus
did not advance, but he didn't need to because the damage already
Shawon Dunston curled a drive over the low fence in the
left-field corner for a two-run homer that broke a scoreless tie in
Angels starter Kevin Appier had allowed one hit until David
Bell's infield single with one out. Dunston, whose only homer this
season came on April 15, followed to make it 2-0.
Appier stood with his hands on his hips as Dunston circled the
bases. Shawon Dunston Jr. began clapping as he ran out to retrieve
the bat and it was a sweet scene at home plate as the much-traveled
veteran kissed his 9-year-old son.
Dunston, 39, made it to the majors a year before Bonds, and also
had never been to the Series.
Lofton followed with a double and that was all for Appier.
Lofton then stole third and scored as Francisco Rodriguez bounced a
slider for a two-out wild pitch.
Lofton singled in the seventh, stole another base and scored on
Jeff Kent's single for the 5-0 lead.
Expecting another intentional walk, Angels infielders
stayed in place when Bonds came up with two outs and a runner on
first in the seventh. When Rodriguez got ready to challenge him,
several Angels scrambled into their overshifted alignment. ...
Spiezio's home run made him 11-for-15 in the postseason with
runners in scoring position.