Salmon finally finds the key against A's Hudson

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Tim Salmon was just trying to hit the
ball somewhere in the park. Instead, he hit it out -- twice.

Salmon hit a pair of two-run homers and Francisco Rodriguez got
his first major league save Friday night as the Anaheim Angels
roughed up Tim Hudson in a 9-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Salmon's first homer of the night came off Hudson in the fourth

''I was as surprised as anybody. I don't think I've ever hit one
off him,'' Salmon said of his shot over the fence in left field.
''I was just trying to put the ball into play.''

He had a .238 career average and no homers against Hudson going
into the game.

Salmon added his fourth homer of the season in the eighth for
the 19th multihomer game of his career. His eight total bases set a
club career record of 2,582, surpassing Brian Downing by two.

Rodriguez, the Angels rookie who went 5-1 in the postseason last
fall, survived a shaky eighth inning, when he gave up a two-run
homer to Terrence Long that pulled Oakland to 6-4.

But Rodriguez, coming off his first major league defeat at Oakland
on April 6, came back and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to get the save.

''I was disappointed with the eighth. I was doing everything too
fast and I even fell off the mound,'' said the 21-year-old
right-hander, who went sprawling after throwing one pitch. ''He
(manager Mike Scioscia) asked me if I wanted to go back out there
in the ninth. He told me to just relax and enjoy the game.

''And that's what I did.''

The Angels scored six runs in the first four innings against
Hudson (1-1), who gave up 11 hits.

''I wasn't very good and they made me pay for it,'' Hudson said.
''I never thought I'd give up six runs and get Garret Anderson out
three times. He's the one who's usually knocking them in.

''I've struggled against these guys two games in a row, but I'm
going to see them again. If I'm pitching the way I'm supposed to, I
don't think I'll have much trouble.''

After allowing two runs on three hits to the first four batters
he faced, Anaheim's John Lackey (1-1) shut out the Athletics before
Scott Schoeneweis replaced him to start the sixth inning.

Lackey allowed five hits, walked four and struck out two in five

Down 6-2, Oakland scored once in the sixth, then Long's homer
narrowed the gap to one run.

Rodriguez's appearance was his fourth of the season. He gave up
three runs in one inning in his defeat at Oakland, and has allowed
six runs on seven hits in six innings.

The victory was the Angels' first in four games against the
Athletics, who swept a three-games series against them in Oakland
last weekend.

Ramon Hernandez had three hits for Oakland, and Eckstein and
Chone Figgins had three each for the Angels. Figgins bunted for two
of his hits.

Last year, the American League West champion A's finished four games ahead of
Anaheim, but the Angels earned a wild-card berth and went on to win
the World Series.

Game notes
Salmon was back in the lineup after coming out of
the game Wednesday because of tightness in his left groin. ...
Anaheim right-handed pitcher Aaron Sele gave up two runs on four hits and three
walks in two innings of his second rehab start, at Class-A Rancho
Cucamonga. ... Oakland's Ken Macha returned to Anaheim for the
first time as a major league manager. He spent three seasons as a
coach with the Angels and said he's happy they won their first
World Series title last fall. ''It's great for baseball because
it's revitalized an organization,'' he said. ... Eckstein's single
in the second inning snapped a 0-for-17 slump. ... Oakland's Scott
Hatteberg reached base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances,
including seven hits, before he flied out to right in the fourth