ANAHEIM -- Garret Anderson slashed line drives all over Fenway Park last weekend, settling for four hits and four RBIs in 15 at-bats. "You can't guide 'em," he said, shrugging, as he departed New England. Anderson brought the same sure stroke home on Monday, and it paid off with an epic performance on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium -- two homers and a club-record 10 RBIs in an 18-9 pummeling of the Yankees. It was the highest run total in Angels franchise history in a game against the Bronx Bombers.
"You enjoy the moment," Anderson said, acknowledging that this was the "best game" of his career. "But it's just one victory, and you've got to put it behind you and play the game tomorrow." The big blast in support of winning pitcher Kelvim Escobar (14-6) was Anderson's eighth career grand slam, hit in the sixth inning off southpaw reliever Sean Henn, a towering drive into the right-field seats. The crowd, numbering 44,264, brought Anderson out for what he believed was the first curtain call of his 13-year career. The franchise's all-time leader in hits, doubles, total bases and RBIs, Anderson warmed up with a two-run double in the first inning off losing pitcher Mike Mussina, then ripped another RBI double in the second off the veteran right-hander. In the third inning, facing reliever Edwar Ramirez, Anderson waited on a changeup and lifted a three-run blast into the right-field seats that handed Escobar a 12-5 lead. "It was nice to get all those runs and be able to relax," said Escobar. "Garret's a leader on this team. He's been here his whole career. We all have a lot of respect for him. It's a good sign for the whole offense, to put that many runs on the board. And best of all, to beat the Yankees." The all-time record for RBIs in a game is 12, shared by St. Louis Cardinals Jim Bottomley (1936) and Mark Whitten (1993). The American League record is 11 by Tony Lazzeri of the 1936 Yankees. "I didn't have a clue" about the record until he was informed after the game, Anderson said, by Angels PR man Larry Babcock. Anderson had one last shot in the bottom of the eighth against Luis Vizcaino with runners on first and third, but shortstop Wilson Betemit ranged behind second base to throw Anderson out at first. "I was disappointed," Anderson said. "I was trying to get another run in. I couldn't figure out why he was playing that close to second." Anderson's 10 RBIs eclipsed Vladimir Guerrero's club record of nine, set on June 2, 2004, against Boston. Guerrero, who doubled home a run in the second, walked right in front of Anderson in the sixth. With his RBI double in the second, Guerrero joined Anderson as the only players in franchise history to produce at least 100 RBIs in four seasons.
GA hangs 10
|The Angels' Garret Anderson is just the sixth player since 1969 to log 10 or more RBIs in a Major League game:|
|12||Mark Whiten||STL||Sept. 7, 1993|
|10||Garret Anderson||LAA||Aug. 21, 2007|
|10||Alex Rodriguez||NYY||April 26, 2005|
|10||Nomar Garciaparra||BOS||May 10, 1999|
|10||Fred Lynn||BOS||June 18, 1975|
|10||Reggie Jackson||OAK||June14, 1969|
|Whiten holds the MLB record along with Jim Bottomley, who originally set the mark on Sept. 16, 1924 with St. Louis (NL). The Yankees' Tony Lazzeri set the American League record with 11 RBIs on May 24, 1936.|
Anderson improved to eight homers and 50 RBIs this season with his career-best performance."Garret's been swinging a lot better his last 30, 40 at-bats," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was overdue. An incredible night for Garrett -- you can't do any better than Garret did tonight." The last player to produce 10 RBIs in an AL game was the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez on April 26, 2005 -- against the Angels. A-Rod unloaded homers No. 41 and 42, solo shots, and raised his season RBI total to 121 in a losing cause. Their sixth win in eight meetings this season with the Bronx Bombers assures the Angels of a fourth consecutive series win against the club they erased from postseason business in 2002 and 2005. The Angels are 38-32 against the Yanks in the Scioscia era, starting in 2000. That doesn't include their 6-3 edge in postseason play over manager Joe Torre and his celebrated troupe of millionaires. The night was not without an element of concern, however. Chone Figgins departed in the third inning after spraining his left wrist while checking his swing on ball four by reliever Ron Villone. Figgins, the Majors' leading hitter with a .399 average since May 31, had just missed driving in at least two runs with a shot that missed the left-field foul line by inches. His walk forced in a run, and Figgins cruised home on Anderson's three-run blast before yielding third base to Robb Quinlan at the start of the fourth inning. Figgins, whose nine-game hitting streak ended with two walks and strikeout, was listed as day-to-day after being examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum. He is to be re-examined on Wednesday. So good was the offense, Escobar was able to endure a rare off night, bagging a win while yielding five earned runs in six innings. Marc Gwyn, in his second Major League appearance, pitched the final three innings, giving up a three-run homer to Betemit in the ninth. After the game, Gwyn was returned to Triple-A Salt Lake as infielder Brandon Wood was recalled as protection against Figgins being out. Escobar issued a solo homer to A-Rod in the second and was still leading after a four-run Yankees third featuring Bobby Abreu's two-run double. Mussina struggled from the outset, walking Figgins and Orlando Cabrera in the first. Figgins stole his 34th base, then he and Cabrera pranced home when Anderson bounced a double between the bag and first baseman Andy Phillips, into the right-field corner. The Angels jumped all over Mussina in the second. Maicer Izturis (three hits, four runs scored) singled and took third on a double by Howie Kendrick (four hits, three runs) halfway up the center-field wall. Both scored when Jeff Mathis lashed the first of his two doubles, giving the catcher five RBIs in two nights against the Bronx Bombers. Guerrero lashed a two-out double into the left-field corner, joining Anderson as the only Angels to put together four 100-RBI seasons. Anderson followed with a bullet to the right-center-field gap for another double and RBI, and he raced home on Gary Matthews Jr.'s line single to left. Mussina was done, having yielded seven runs on seven hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. But the Garret Anderson Show was just getting started.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.