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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Santana stares down and shuts down Yanks

ANAHEIM -- The Angels witnessed their worst nightmare when Bartolo Colon went to one knee in the top of the second inning Monday night.
Their best pitcher was on the hill in the decisive fifth game of the American League Division Series, but it looked as if he would not be able to continue.

He wouldn't.

Colon threw two more pitches and dropped to his knee again, leaving after throwing just 23 pitches because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

But instead of folding at a critical moment, the Angels found their stride. Rookie Ervin Santana took the ball and, despite a shaky beginning, pitched the Angels into the ALCS with 5 1/3 clutch relief innings and a 5-3 win to eliminate the Yankees.

"It's a terrific achievement for us right now and hopefully it is one rung up the ladder," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I'd like to congratulate the Yankees on an incredible season because we had our hands full in every aspect of the game."

Waiting in Chicago on Tuesday now, and less than 24 hours from the final out here, are the White Sox, who clinched a spot in the ALCS last Friday by sweeping Boston.



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