Willliams gives Yankees more late-inning magic
NEW YORK -- Bernie Williams and the New York Yankees still had some leftover late-inning magic.
Jason Giambi hit a tying single with two outs in the eighth inning and Williams followed with a three-run homer, providing another stunning Yankee Stadium comeback as New York beat the Anaheim Angels 8-5 Tuesday night in Game 1 of the AL division series.
Showing the dramatics that fueled last year's postseason run to Game 7 of the World Series, the Yankees rallied to win in the eighth inning to spoil the Angels' first postseason game in 16 years.
After Troy Glaus' second homer put Anaheim ahead 5-4 in the top of the eighth, the Yankees took advantage of a questionable decision by Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia.
Ben Weber started the inning and retired the first two batters before walking Alfonso Soriano. With closer Troy Percival warming up, Scioscia stuck with Weber, who walked Derek Jeter.
Scioscia then brought in lefty Scott Schoeneweis, even though Percival had struck out Giambi five times in five career at-bats.
Giambi hit a hard one-hopper that deflected off first baseman Scott Spiezio's glove into right field, scoring Soriano with the tying run.
Williams worked the count to 1-2 against Brendan Donnelly and then hit a drive to right field for his 17th career postseason home run and Yankee Stadium began rocking again as it did last fall.
The thunderous ovation continued as closer Mariano Rivera came in from the bullpen to his heavy metal anthem ''Enter Sandman.'' It was a comforting sight for the Yankees after their most indispensable player spent three stints on the disabled list this season.
Rivera worked through an easy ninth, showing no effects from his blown save in Game 7 of the World Series to Arizona last year.
Steve Karsay pitched a hitless eighth for the win.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Wednesday night. Kevin Appier, Anaheim's only playoff veteran, pitches against Andy Pettitte.
The Angels came into the series with one player with playoff experience. But the shakiest move came from their manager, who was a postseason star with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988.
The series was billed as a matchup of Yankees longball against Angels smallball. And the Bronx Bombers came out on top as usual in October.
Giambi homered and drove in three runs in his first playoff game with New York. Newcomer Rondell White and Jeter also homered.
Twins 7, Athletics 5
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins shook off a serious case of the playoff jitters in plenty of time.
A.J. Pierzynski had four hits, and Corey Koskie homered and drove in three runs as the Twins overcame an early deficit and fielding blunders to beat the Oakland Athletics 7-5 Tuesday in the first game of the AL division series.
In their first postseason appearance since winning the World Series in 1991, Minnesota made three errors in the first two innings while falling behind 5-1 to the A's.
But the Twins rallied back with offense from nearly every player and steady bullpen work. Eight Twins got a hit.
Eric Chavez drove in two runs for the A's.
Tim Hudson never got comfortable in 5 1-3 shaky innings.
Doug Mientkiewicz also homered for the Twins, who took the lead with a three-run sixth inning. Koskie put Minnesota up 6-5 with a bases-loaded groundout against Ted Lilly (0-1), who relieved Hudson moments earlier.
Brad Radke (1-0) allowed eight hits and five runs -- although just one was earned -- in five innings..