ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Angels were down and their ace was out. In came a 22-year-old rookie with a defiant look in his eye and the season on the line.
Ervin Santana pitched 5Q gutsy innings in his postseason debut, and Adam Kennedy hit a go-ahead triple that sent Yankees outfielders crashing to the ground as Los Angeles beat New York, 5-3 on Monday night in the decisive Game 5 of their AL Division Series.
Less than 24 hours after arriving in California, the Angels got ready to leave for the start of the ALCS against the White Sox in Chicago tonight.
George Steinbrenner's $203 million Yankees once again learned that money doesn't buy success. Even with Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen for 4Q shutout innings, New York was eliminated by the Angels in the first round for the second time in four seasons.
Just like last year, when the Yankees lost four straight against Boston after taking a 3-0 ALCS lead, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield were virtually invisible when New York needed their bats most. Rodriguez, New York's $252 million man, hit into a double play after the Yankees got their leadoff runner on in the ninth.
With two on and two outs in the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez retired Hideki Matsui on a sharp grounder to first.
Matsui grounded to Darin Erstad, who made a diving stop and flipped the ball to Francisco Rodriguez.
Santana, who started the season at Double-A, entered after Bartolo Colon departed in the second inning with an injured shoulder.
Los Angeles is in its first ALCS since winning the franchise's first World Series title in 2002.