ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Troy Glaus broke open a tense pitcher's duel with a home run to lead off the eighth inning Friday night, boosting the Anaheim Angels past the Minnesota Twins, 2-1, and into the lead in the American League Championship Series.
Anaheim took a two games to one advantage in the best-of-seven series and the Angels will try to move another step toward their first World Series appearance when they host Game 4 Saturday night.
Starter Jarrod Washburn protected a 1-0 Anaheim lead until the seventh inning, when Jacques Jones drove in the tying run with a two-out double.
Anaheim threatened to immediately regain the lead in its half of the seventh, only to be turned away when Minnesota Manager Ron Gardenhire used four pitchers in the inning to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Glaus, however, wasted no time in the eighth putting Anaheim in front.
After working the count to 3-1 against J.C. Romero, Glaus launched a shot to right-center that reached the first row of the seats for the Angels' 11th home run of the playoffs.
"I was hoping he would get a pitch up and when he did, I didn't miss it," Glaus said. "Anybody who is a true fan of the game can appreciate a game like this. The two starting pitchers did their job. Every play was important. Every pitch was important."
Glaus has delivered four homers during the playoffs.
"Troy finished the season strong," Anaheim ManagerMike Scioscia said. "He drove in a lot of runs in September. He went through a tough stretch in the middle of the summer, but he kept working and he was very productive late in the season. He has carried that over to the playoffs."
After Glaus put Anaheim in front, closer Troy Percival retired the side in the ninth, although he needed two sensational catches to do it. Right fielder Alex Ochoa, inserted into the lineup by Manager Mike Scioscia for defensive purposes, sprawled to make the catch on a liner by Doug Mientkiewicz to open the ninth. Garret Anderson ended the game with a diving catch in left field off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski.
In 32 lifetime appearances against the Twins, spanning 32 innings, Percival has not allowed an earned run.
"Does it get any better than that," Gardenhire said. "There was great pitching in the game. They have the best closer in baseball in there and we are hitting line drives all over the place and they make the catches. It was great baseball."
The Angels' first run also came on a leadoff homer, produced by Anderson in the second inning off Eric Milton.
Milton allowed one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over six innings.
Minnesota tied it in the seventh against Washburn with Dustan Mohr opening the inning with a single. Pierzynski and Luis Rivas both flew out with Mohr unable to advance.
Jones, however, drove the ball to deep right for a double that gave the Twins their only extra base hit of the night as well as the tying run. But Jones was the last Minnesota batter to reach base.
Laroy Hawkins relieved Milton to start the Anaheim seventh and walked Bengie Molina to open the inning. Molina moved up on a sacrifice by Benji Gil and advanced to third on a single from David Eckstein.
After Johan Santana relieved Hawkins, Darin Erstad hit a sharp grounder to Pierzynski at second and he was able to throw Molina out at home. Tim Salmon next drew a walk off reliever Mike Jackson to load the bases and Romero was called on to face Anderson, who flew out to deep right field to end the inning and leave the game temporarily tied.
The win went to Francisco Rodriguez, who worked a 1-2-3 eighth -- striking out two of the three men he faced.