The Angels have won five of seven meetings against their AL West
rivals, including a 10-3 romp Monday night that kicked off a
"You always want to play well against teams in your own
division," pitcher John Lackey said following his second victory
in his last eight starts. "The way we've been playing lately, it's
just nice to get a win against anybody."
Cleveland beat Chicago 5-1 in the only other AL game.
The Angels -- beginning a 10-game stretch in which they will play
Oakland seven times -- had won just four of their previous 15 games
after holding a three-game lead over Oakland on June 3. The A's
sixth loss in their last seven games overall dropped them into a
first-place tie in the AL West with the idle Texas Rangers, a full
game ahead of Anaheim.
"We're still in a real good position and we haven't played our
best baseball yet," Oakland left fielder Eric Byrnes said. "It
seems like it's either the pitching that's picking us up one night
and the offense another night.
"We've had kind of flashes of brilliance, but once we get
things going and put everything together, I think we have as good a
chance as anybody to win the division."
The Angels, who swept the A's in a three-game series in Oakland
the last time they met in late April, took a 4-2 lead in the fifth
against Rich Harden after falling behind on Marco Scutaro's two-run
single in the top of the inning.
David Eckstein tied the score with a two-run double, slicing a
3-2 pitch inside the right-field line on a hit-and-run. Guerrero
drove in Eckstein with a hard ground single off the glove of second
baseman Scutaro, and came around on Garret Anderson's double.
Bengie Molina made it 5-2 in the sixth with an RBI double that
chased Harden (3-5). The right-hander allowed five runs and eight
hits in 5 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked two.
"Harden was doing a good job against us for the first four
innings, but we started getting better at-bats," Angels manager
Mike Scioscia said. "We laid off some pitches and drew some deep
counts to get Harden's pitch count up to where he was tiring and we
were able to break through."
Guerrero hit a 1-0 pitch from Justin Duchscherer to center field
in the seventh for his 17th homer. In the eighth, he greeted
submarine-throwing Chad Bradford with a bases-loaded two-run double
inside the left-field line. The four-hit game was the 13th for
Guerrero, who set an Angels record with nine RBI on June 2 against
"He's a superstar, and you've got to expect those things out of
people like that," Lackey said. "He's such a great teammate
because he doesn't act like a superstar. He works as hard as
Guerrero's bat helped awaken a sluggish offense that was
1-for-11 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's 3-1 loss at
"We've got a lot of confidence in our offense," Scioscia said.
"For the last three weeks, it's been frustrating for a lot of guys
in this room, but we feel we're going to score enough runs. And if
we can continue to pitch well, that's the formula we're looking
Lackey (5-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings.
The right-hander struck out four and walked none.
Jose Guillen capped Anaheim's four-run eighth with a
bases-loaded two-run single after an intentional walk to Anderson.<
^Indians 5, White Sox 1=
Victor Martinez had a career-high four hits for the Indians, who
moved within two games of the White Sox for second place in the AL
Sabathia (5-3) scattered four hits, struck out four and walked
one. He also lowered his ERA from 2.95 to 2.80 -- second in the AL
to Oakland's Tim Hudson (2.78).
Matt Miller pitched a perfect ninth to complete the four-hitter.
Scott Schoeneweis (5-6) took the loss.<