ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Sixteen years later, the Angels are once again just one win away from their first World Series.
Rookie John Lackey outpitched Brad Radke with seven shutout innings, Troy Glaus broke up a scoreless tie with a go-ahead single in the seventh and Anaheim beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 Saturday night for a 3-1 lead in the AL championship series.
''It was a situation where I was trying to match him pitch for pitch,'' Lackey said. ''He was throwing a tremendous game himself. Our guys have been battling all year. I knew they eventually would come through.''
It was another electric night at Edison Field, with the crowd of 44,830 nearly all in red. Fans banged their inflatable plastic Thunder Stix from start to finish, waved their stuffed ''rally monkeys'' and even wore feathery halos on their heads.
''One cloud away,'' read one hope-filled sign behind the Twins' dugout.
For 42 years, the theme of this franchise has been ''Heaven Can Wait,'' with painful memories lingering from 1986, when Donnie Moore and the Angels had a 3-1 lead over Boston in the ALCS and were one strike away from advancing to the World Series that founding owner Gene Autry had dreamed of for decades.
Kevin Appier can end the waiting Sunday and put the Angels in the World Series against San Francisco or St. Louis. He will start against Joe Mays, the pitcher he lost to in the opener at the Metrodome. Anaheim is 4-0 at home during the playoffs.
''We're not looking past tomorrow's game,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Both starters were remarkably efficient on a cool, gray night. Lackey, a 23-year-old rookie right-hander, held the Twins to three singles in seven innings, struck out seven, walked none and didn't let a runner past first base.
''For a youngster who was in the minor leagues 3 1/2 months ago to come up and do that was incredible,'' Scioscia said. ''John was about as on tonight as you could be.''
Radke, who beat Oakland in Games 1 and 5 of the first round, allowed just two hits in the first six innings, went to just one 2-0 count and didn't go to three balls on any batters.
''He did everything he was supposed to do for this baseball team,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Darin Erstad singled leading off the seventh, becoming Anaheim's third runner of the game. When he broke for second on a steal attempt, Minnesota's defense cracked again. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski's throw bounced into center for the Twins' seventh error of the postseason, and Erstad took third.
Tim Salmon walked, Garret Anderson popped out and Glaus, whose eighth-inning homer gave the Angels a 2-1 win Friday, lined a 1-0 pitch into left field for the first run.
Scott Spiezio added a bloop RBI double that landed just inside the right-field line.
It got ugly in the eighth, after Erstad hit a one-out single and Johan Santana threw away a pickoff for error No. 8. Anderson singled in a run in off J.C. Romero, and Mike Jackson gave up Brad Fullmer's two-run double and Bengie Molina's two-run triple.
Minnesota managed just three singles in the first seven innings against Lackey, who made his major league debut June 24, and the Twins couldn't move any runners to second off him.
Lackey's only previous postseason appearance was in Game 3 of the first-round series against the New York Yankees, when he pitched three shutout innings, and he hadn't started since Sept. 26. He used a sharp breaking ball and kept his fastball down to stifle the Twins. He allowed just one leadoff runner.
''Once you get on the mound, it turned into the same game we're playing at the first of the year,'' Lackey said.
Francisco Rodriguez, Anaheim's 20-year-old rookie sensation, gave up a bloop double to Doug Mientkiewicz leading off the eighth, then struck out Dustan Mohr, gave up a grounder to second that advanced the runner to third, then fanned pinch-hitter Brad Kielty.
Ben Weber finished the six-hitter, giving up an RBI single to David Ortiz.
Now, the wild-card Angels have three chances for that elusive pennant-winning victory. Exactly 16 years ago, on Oct. 12, 1986, they were one strike away when Boston's Dave Henderson hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Moore. The Red Sox went on to win in extra innings, then won the next two games at Fenway Park.
Three years later, Moore shot his wife and killed himself, and lingering memories were cited as part of the cause.
Autry died four years ago, after The Walt Disney Co. took control of the team, but his memory lives on for the players and fans.
Notes: California Gov. Gray Davis sat with Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Actor John Travolta also watched from a box. ... Lackey and Radke needed just 136 combined pitches to get through 6 1/2 innings. ... Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was at the game to support Scioscia, a former Los Angeles player.
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