Anderson gives Angels the series

Anderson gives Angels the series

ANAHEIM -- Wednesday's matinee was a two-act play with Garret Anderson cast as the leading man.

Anderson used his bat to spin the first half of the tale and then summoned his arm for the climactic scene as the Angels stole the show in a 7-6 comeback win over the Twins that had the sun-draped afternoon crowd shouting "Author!"

Well, sort of.

A day after he was the toast of the Angel Stadium crowd for becoming the first player in franchise history to reach 1,000 RBIs, Anderson had a pair of moments that were worthy of curtain calls.

Down two runs in the bottom of the seventh, Anderson drilled a 2-0 pitch from Twins starter Johan Santana and deposited it into the right-field seats for a three-run shot and an Angels' lead.

After Shannon Stewart pulled the Twins within one on an RBI single that advanced pinch-hitter Michael Ryan to third, Anderson caught a mid-range fly ball from Nick Punto and threw out Ryan at the plate as Jose Molina made a fine catch and tag to complete the double play and end the inning.

Those two plays, combined with a game-tying, two-run single by Bengie Molina in the bottom of the fifth helped the Angels rally not once, but twice against Santana and take the series from the Twins after dropping two of three games at Minnesota in early May.

The two teams will face each other one more time in the regular season when the Angels travel to Minnesota to play a four-game series immediately following the All-Star break.

"They're a lot like us," Anderson said of the Twins. "Santana is a guy that you don't expect to get many runs off of."

Santana (7-5) was twice staked to a lead of at least two runs. Mike Redmond's RBI single in the top of the second put the Twins up, 2-0, and Redmond struck again in the fifth with a solo homer for a 3-0 lead. Redmond tied a career-high by going 4-for-4 and also drove in three runs on the afternoon.

After Bengie Molina tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, the Twins quickly raced back in front in the top of the sixth on RBI singles by Luis Rodriguez and Redmond.

The Angels then mounted their second rally when Chone Figgins singled to lead off the seventh and Vladimir Guerrero, who knocked in the Angels' first run, got aboard on a one-out base hit.

Santana, who allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks to take the loss, then ran a fastball out over the plate and Anderson, who is hitting .358 this season against lefties, squared up to give the Angels their first lead of the day and increased his career RBI total to 1,011.

"I'm very impressed with him as a hitter," Paul Byrd said, who benefited from Anderson's heroics as his pitching line turned from a loss to a no-decision. "He is very underrated as a hitter in the Major Leagues. It doesn't matter who is on the mound. He hits lefties and righties."

Anderson may not get the recognition he deserves by the fans, but he is noticed by his peers. For this year's All-Star Game, Anderson was voted in as a member of the American League squad by the players.

"He's consistent with guys in scoring position," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He is right there with anybody in hitting the ball hard in RBI situations."

Anderson accepts the accolades he receives for his hitting with a self-effacing shrug, but mention his defense and his eyes clearly brighten.

Making his catch and assist in the seventh even sweeter was a misplay in the second. Justin Morneau was credited with a triple when his extra-base hit down the left-field line caromed off the wall and got past Anderson to roll to the warning track. Morneau later scored the Twins' first run.

But he atoned with his throw that helped provide reliever Joel Peralta (1-0) with his first Major League win.

"When you're in a position to take a run away, it is great," Anderson said, who was 2-for-4 on Wednesday. "I've been on the other end of that and it takes the air right out of you."

Jose Molina said the catchers practice every possible scenario during Spring Training for throws to the plate. Adding to the difficulty of the play, the throw was slightly up the line and Rivas slid wide to try and avoid the tag.

"I tried to come up the line before [Rivas] got there," Jose Molina said, adding he was thinking to catch the ball first and then make the tag. "It was hard, but it was a good hop and I grabbed the ball with both hands and got him."

Scioscia credited both players.

"Both ends were big, but Garret got into position where Jose was able to make the play," Scioscia said. "The throw by Garret allowed Jose to make the play."

Wednesday's win gave the Angels their fifth series win in their last six without a loss. The Angels last lost a series when they dropped two of three games to the Nationals, June 13-15.

"This team has character," Byrd said. "You don't want to get ahead of yourself and think playoffs, but this team has a lot of fight in 'em."

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.