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Guerrero and other Angels make Game 3 a makeup game

The slugger redeems himself with a two-run home run in the sixth after major struggles in Game 2. Kendrick, Izturis and Fuentes also atone for stumbles.

October 20, 2009|Mike DiGiovanna

There was a redemptive quality to the Angels' 5-4 American League Championship Series Game 3 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday.

Howie Kendrick atoned for last year's division series flop with a homer, triple, single and three runs. Maicer Izturis made up for his 13th-inning error that cost the Angels Game 2 in New York with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly that gave the Angels a 4-3 lead.

Closer Brian Fuentes, who gave up a game-tying home run to Alex Rodriguez in the 11th inning Saturday night, threw a scoreless ninth Monday.

But no Angel redeemed himself more than designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, a lightning rod for criticism from the media -- as well as Angels fans -- after going one for seven and stranding eight runners in the Game 2 loss.

His bat speed supposedly waning and his plate discipline wandering, Guerrero worked 2-0 and 3-1 counts in his first two at-bats Monday, producing a single and a walk.

Guerrero then drove a 2-2 pitch from Andy Pettitte over the wall in left field for a two-run home run in the sixth, snapping a string of 86 playoff at-bats without a homer and tying the score, 3-3.

"People were wondering why we kept him in the cleanup spot -- he proved why," Angels pitcher Jered Weaver said. "You know he's going to come up with the big hit, and he had a huge one today."

Guerrero, speaking through an interpreter, said that he made no adjustments after Game 2.

"I stood up there the way I always stand up for the ball," Guerrero said. "You come out here every single time with a positive mind-set and try to get the job done. [Game 2] is over with. We try to look forward and forget about what happened in the past."


Weaver flies solo

Weaver did some of his best work in traffic Monday, pitching out of two-on, no-out jams in the second and fourth innings, but the right-hander grooved a few too many pitches with the bases empty.

Derek Jeter hit a 2-0 pitch for a homer to left field to open the game, Rodriguez crushed a 3-1 pitch for a homer to left field in the fourth, and Johnny Damon curled an 0-1 pitch inside the right-field foul pole for a homer in the fifth.

"I wasn't happy with how things went, but luckily the three homers were all solo shots," said Weaver, who allowed five hits in five innings. "I didn't have my good stuff today. I had no fastball command, but I was able to battle."


Short hops

In addition to Fuentes, the Angels got solid relief from Darren Oliver, who threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings, Jason Bulger, who struck out two in a scoreless 10th, and Ervin Santana, who threw a scoreless 11th for the win. . . . The walk-off win was the third in Angels' history. The others: Game 3 of the 1979 ALCS against the Orioles (Larry Harlow RBI double) and Game 4 of the 1986 ALCS over the Red Sox (Bobby Grich RBI single).


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