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Boston drops one game behind Yankees

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Their starting pitcher struggled again,
as did their closer, and the Anaheim Angels still found a way to
win.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the sixth
inning Tuesday night as the Angels came from behind, then held on
to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-6.

"We did a lot of good things on the offensive side," Anaheim
manager Mike Scioscia said. "Vlad came up with the big hit to give
us a lead."

Guerrero's double into the gap in left-center came against
Bronson Arroyo (2-3) and snapped a 4-all tie.

The Red Sox had taken a 4-1 lead against Bartolo Colon, who
lasted just four innings. After falling behind 7-4, Boston closed
within a run on Brian Daubach's two-out, two-run homer off Troy
Percival in the ninth.

Alfredo Amezaga, who came in as a defensive replacement at third
for the ninth inning, ended the game with a spectacular diving
catch of Kevin Millar's hard drive in foul territory.

"Everybody came up big," said Anaheim's David Eckstein, who
gave them a three-run pad by singling home a run in the seventh.

He certainly came up big, going 3-for-5 and driving in two runs,
including the tying run during Anaheim's three-run sixth.

Arroyo gave up six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits. He struck
out five, walked two and hit three batters.

The win was just the Angels' second in seven games, but they've
remained atop the AL West and their 31 wins match the New York
Yankees and Cincinnati for most in the majors.

"I can honestly say that is the best team we have played all
year," Boston's Johnny Damon said. "Right now, they are the best
team out there in both leagues.

"They are a very scrappy team. They are a force to be reckoned
with."

The loss dropped the Red Sox a game behind the AL East-leading
Yankees.

"It was a frustrating night; we had a lot of chances early,"
Daubach said.

Colon had another mediocre outing, giving up eight hits, but
again didn't figure in the decision. He has won just one of his
last seven starts, with two losses over that span.

Signed to a four-year, $51 million free-agent deal last winter,
Colon won three of his first four starts and had a 2.33 ERA before
beginning to struggle.

"Bartolo will have to do better than four innings," Scioscia
said. "He needs to be more aggressive, establish his fastball. He
may just be trying to do too much."

Boston went up 4-1 with a pair of runs in the fourth, on
consecutive RBI doubles by Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek.

Casey Kotchman doubled home one run in the bottom of the inning,
and another run scored on Daubach's throwing error as the Angels
narrowed the gap to 4-3.

Ramirez, who had three hits, had an RBI double off Colon in the
first inning. Jeff DaVanon's RBI single evened it in the bottom of
the inning, then Millar led off the second with his fourth home
run.

Arroyo has been slumping, giving up 20 runs and 22 hits over 15
innings in his last three starts.

"I threw some great pitches to Guerrero early on in the game,"
Arroyo said. "Then I left a bad slider right in the middle of the
plate for him to hammer."

Percival had blown three of his last six save opportunities and
four overall this year. Last year, he had only four blown saves in
37 chances.

"Percy's in a little rough spot right now, but we have complete
confidence in him," Scioscia said.

Game notes
Eckstein ran his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games
when he singled his first time up. ... Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra
is expected to rejoin the Triple-A Pawtucket PawSox on Thursday to
continue his rehab assignment. Sidelined all year with tendinitis
in his right Achilles, Garciaparra played two games for Pawtucket
before returning to Boston to work out and be evaluated. ... Red
Sox OF Ellis Burks had had enough by the third time a beach ball
bounced into the Boston dugout: he grabbed the ball and ripped it
to pieces.