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VAUGHN POWERS BIG COMEBACK ANGELS 9, OAKLAND 8.

Byline: Billy Witz Staff Writer

ANAHEIM - Forget that the Angels, fresh off three games in Seattle, have already played an AL West rival this season. They got their first true taste of the wild, wild West on Monday night when Oakland came to town.

The Angels, riding two homers and five RBI from Mo Vaughn and four hits from Troy Glaus, rallied from a five-run deficit for a 9-8 victory over the Athletics in front of 15,034 at Edison Field.

The Angels took the lead on Bengie Molina's sacrifice fly in the seventh, bringing home Glaus, who had doubled and taken third on T.J. Mathews' wild pitch.

Troy Percival capped an outstanding performance by the Angels bullpen when he struck out Jeremy Giambi with the tying run at second to end the game. Percival, Mark Petkovsek, Mike Holtz and Al Levine combined to shut out Oakland over the final 5 1/3 innings.

While Vaughn and Glaus were leading a 17-hit attack, Oakland relied on the latest incarnation of the Bash Brothers - Jason Giambi, the former Long Beach State star, and younger brother Jeremy - who each hit one of Oakland's three homers.

The home run is the law of the land in the West where no lead is safe, no game is in danger of being played under three hours and a manager's decision isn't whether to play for one run, but whether to settle for a field goal or go for six.

``I hope not,'' said Vaughn when asked if he expected many of these games against Seattle, Texas and Oakland. ``I hope we can keep them down and we're doing the hitting, but it's an offensive division, no doubt about it. Oakland can swing the bat, we can swing the bat, Texas can swing the bat and Seattle can swing the bat. Sometimes we're going to have to slug it out.''

Angels manager Mike Scioscia called the victory ``a great win,'' but the clubhouse was noticeably tempered by the news that shortstop Gary DiSarcina would be placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game with what team officials described as tightness in his throwing shoulder. He'll undergo tests today.

Both teams treated the starting pitchers as if they had sore shoulders, too.

Neither Oakland starter Ariel Prieto, who was making his first start, nor the Angels' Ramon Ortiz made it through the fifth inning. For Ortiz, who lasted 3 2/3 innings, it was his shortest stint of the season.

Scioscia was hoping for more from Ortiz, who has yet to show much consistency this season.

He allowed eight runs, all on home runs - a two-run homer in the first by Jason Giambi, his major-league leading 14th, and three-run blasts in the fourth by Jeremy Giambi and Terrance Long. And he didn't help himself by walking four batters in the Athletics' six-run fourth.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 9, 2000
Words:478
Previous Article:ANGELS NOTEBOOK: DISARCINA BAT IS FINE, ARM IS QUESTIONABLE.
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