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Angels Short Hops: Game 6

Angels Short Hops: Game 6

Fielding the Angels' 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
Joe Saunders couldn't get out of the fourth inning on Sunday, and the Angels couldn't mount another comeback against New York starter Andy Pettitte.

Frozen moment
Kendry Morales had the tying run in scoring position and a 3-0 count with two out in the sixth of a 3-1 game, but he took a strike and grounded sharply back to Pettitte to end the threat.

Big number
5 -- After totaling only eight doubles during the entire regular season, Jeff Mathis hit his fifth two-bagger in the ALCS in the third inning. Later in the frame, Mathis came around to score L.A.'s first run on Bobby Abreu's single.

Game balls

Darren Oliver

Entering with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, Oliver kept the Angels in the game by inducing a double play from Jorge Posada on his was to delivering 2 2/3 scoreless innings. It was Oliver's longest relief appearance since April.

Vladimir Guerrero

Guerrero was one of the only Angels to look comfortable at the plate all series, collecting three more hits Sunday. He did, however, get caught too far off first base in the second inning on a fly ball to right field, getting doulbed off to squelch one of the few L.A. scoring chances against Pettitte. Guerrero finished the ALCS with 10 hits in 27 at-bats.

Joe Saunders

Saunders was unable to back up his sterling performance in Game 2, allowing more baserunners (12) than outs he recorded (10). He limited the damage to three runs in his 3 1/3 innings, but that was still too much for the Angels' to overcome.

Sense of October
Guerrero's eighth-inning RBI single off Mariano Rivera was the first earned run the Yankees' closer had allowed in a home postseason game since Oct. 22, 2000, against the Mets.

Lines of the Game

Chone Figgins
4 AB, 1 H, 1 R,
Comment: Figgins never really broke out of his postseason slump, finishing the playoffs with three hits in 35 at-bats. He did, however, lead off the eighth with a bloop single off Rivera, coming around to score on Guerrero's two-out single.

Joe Saunders
3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 BB
Comment: Saunders bent in the first three innings before breaking in the fourth, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks while retiring only one hitter. Saunders struggled to find the strike zone all night, throwing 41 of his 83 pitches for balls.

"They capitalized on every mistake we made. Every time we made an error, they scored runs." -- Center fielder Torii Hunter

Next step
After 102 wins in 2009, the Angels will head home and prepare to defend their division title next year.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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