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Sox Stay Tied - Edge Angels


Troy O'Leary got just what he expected from Troy Percival.

Percival, Anaheim's hard-throwing closer, challenged O'Leary with a fastball in the eighth inning. O'Leary was ready for it, and hit a two-out, two-run double that gave the Boston Red Sox a 4-3 win over the Angels on Friday night.

"When I was on-deck, I could see he was throwing hard," said O'Leary, just 6-for-45 before the hit. "I think, basically, you just try to get a good pitch to hit."

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  • With Boston trailing 3-2 in the eighth, Mike Stanley hit a two-out single against Mark Petkovsek. Percival (3-3) entered and walked pinch-hitter Brian Daubach before O'Leary hit one off the left-field wall for his team-leading 87th RBI.

    "Fortunately for us, he didn't have his control against Daubach," said Boston's Butch Huskey, who drove in the other two runs. "Then he tried to groove a pitch against Troy and he hit it."

    Percival is 0-3 in his career against Boston, having allowed 16 runs in 18 2-3 innings. It was just his fifth blown save in 31 chances this season.

    "I knew he was going to try and hit the wall," Percival said. "I just didn't make the pitch. The last three weeks I haven't been doing a good job."

    "Troy hasn't been out there much lately so its tough for him to find a consistent rhythm," said Angels manager Terry Collins.

    The Red Sox, who remained tied with Oakland for the AL's wild-card spot, won for just the third time in their last eight games. The Athletics beat the Chicago White Sox -6.

    "Good comeback," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said. "A big hit by O'Leary and a big hit by Huskey."

    Rich Garces (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Derek Lowe pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

    The loss spoiled a surprisingly strong start by Anaheim's Jarrod Washburn, who came in with an 8.56 ERA in eight appearances this season. He held the Red Sox to two runs and two hits in five innings before leaving after issuing consecutive walks to open the sixth.

    Boston starter Kent Mercker, acquired Tuesday from St. Louis for a pair of minor leaguers, gave up two runs in the first in his Red Sox debut. But he settled down to work six innings, allowing three runs and six hits.

    "I didn't know where I was in the first inning," Mercker said. "I had a lot of adrenalin and had the nerves going."

    The Angels, who entered the day a season-high 24-games out of first in the AL West, took a 2-0 lead on consecutive RBI doubles by Todd Greene and Garret Anderson in the first.

    Greene's run-scoring fielder's choice made it 3-0 in the sixth.

    Boston cut it to 3-2 in the sixth on Huskey's two-run single. After Jose Offerman and John Valentin walked, Petkovsek got Nomar Garciaparra to bounce into a fielder's choice before walking Mike Stanley to load the bases. Huskey followed with his single to left.

    Notes

  • The Red Sox are 7-1 vs. Anaheim this season.
  • Angels slugger Mo Vaughn missed the game to attend a funeral.
  • Boston third baseman Valentin was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore knee.
  • Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcinia returned after being sidelined the last four games with a sore right shoulder.
  • Huskey has 16 RBIs in 22 games since being acquired from Seattle July 26.
  • Greene was 1-for-11 in the Angels' homestand.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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