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Angels Make Bombers Seem Mortal


Troy Percival's fastballs -- and fast glove -- once again shut down the New York Yankees.

The Anaheim Angels handed the Yankees a rare three-game losing streak, relying on Percival to survive a tense ninth inning for a 7-6 victory Tuesday night.

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  • Not since opening the season with two losses at Anaheim and a defeat at Oakland had New York dropped three in a row. The Yankees had gone 127 games without losing three straight, the longest such streak in the majors since the 1961 Yankees played their final 134 without a three-game skid.

    "Anytime we come into the Bronx we play great baseball," Percival said. "They can hit, we can play defense and both teams can pitch."

    The Yankees had their chance to win this one when Percival walked the bases loaded in the ninth with two outs. But Percival -- who has a 0.00 ERA in 17 1/3 career innings against New York -- lunged to the first-base side of the mound to snare Derek Jeter's hard one-hopper to end the game.

    "I'm saying Gold Glove," Percival joked. "I don't know about anybody else."

    The Angels increased their AL West lead to 31/2 games over Texas and improved to 5-3 against the Yankees -- the only club to hold an edge over the team with the best record in baseball.

    Percival tied his career high with his 36th save in 39 chances, pitching 1 2/3 innings.

    "He had just walked the bases full, but he made three perfect pitches," said Jeter, whalready had four hits. "Three fastballs away, at the knees."

    Rookie Troy Glaus' double keyed a four-run rally in the seventh inning for the Angels. They won their fourth straight overall and joined Boston as the only teams to take two in a row at Yankee Stadium this year.

    "We are as amazed as anybody else with the record they have," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "We can't worry about who we are and who we are playing."

    Anaheim picked on Mike Stanton (4-1) and New York's shaky middle relief for four runs in the seventh for a 7-4 lead.

    Percival took over after an RBI single by Paul O'Neill made it 7-6 with one out in the eighth. With runners on first and second, he struck out Bernie Williams and got Tino Martinez on a grounder.

    Percival held on in the ninth in a game that took 4 hours, 12 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in Angels' history. Anaheim and the Yankees come back for a day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

    While the Angels won for the 13th time in 17 games, the Yankees have lost five of seven.

    "You judge a team by how you handle the bad things," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Alarmed? I don't think we're alarmed. We get a little angry when we lose. In the big picture, it's really not all that important."

    O'Neill hit his 19th home run and Martinez doubled twice, and Williams had three hits for the Yankees.

    Winner Allen Watson (6-7) relieved Omar Olivares in the fourth with the Angels down 4-1.

    Hideki Irabu, pitching for the first time since being hit on the left instep by a batted ball 10 days ago, took a 4-3 lead into the seventh. He left after a leadoff walk to Randy Velarde, and Stanton took over and made a wild pickoff throw.

    Darin erstad grounded a tying double down the first-base line and later scored on Garret Anderson's single for a 5-4 lead. Glaus met Mike Buddie with a two-run double.

    Glaus and Matt Walbeck hit RBI singles in the sixth that pulled the Angels to 4-3. Jim Edmonds, who missed the previous three games because of a sore upper back, singled in both the sixth and seventh innings.

    Pinch hitter Chili Davis singled off the left-field wall in the Yankees' seventh.

    Notes

  • Umpire Al Clark , whose named surfaced in a recent scam involving memorabilia, was at the ballpark and announced as the third-base umpire but was replaced by Terry Craft . The AL said a five-man crew was in town to work the five-game series, and that it simply was Clark's night off.
  • The Yankees became the first team in AL history to have five players reach double figures in home runs and stolen bases in the same season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Scott Brosius' 10th steal put him in the category with teammates Chuck Knoblauch , Jeter, Williams and O'Neill. The 1991 Cincinnati Reds had six players do it and the 1993 Montreal Expos also had five.
  • Anaheim's Orlando Palmeiro singled to stop an 0-for-13 skid.
  • Irabu struck out his 100th batter joining teammates David Cone, David Wells, Andy Pettitte and Orlando Hernandez with at least 100.

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