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Angels 2.5 games behind A's in West

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Dallas McPherson saved the ball and
lineup card to go with the memories he'll have of his three hits
and an RBI in his first major league start.

McPherson's offense helped the Anaheim Angels gain ground in the
playoff race with a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday
night.

"It was a great experience. I couldn't ask for anything
better," he said. "It gives me a lot of confidence knowing they
have confidence in me."

The Angels closed within 2 games of idle Oakland in the AL West
and 4 of Boston in the wild-card chase despite playing most of the
night without star right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who was hit in
the head by a pitch in the first inning.

X-rays at a hospital were normal, and Guerrero returned to the
dugout during the game.

"I don't think it was intentional. With two strikes, you're not
going to do that," Guerrero said, referring to Ryan Franklin. "I
feel good. I only feel sore where the ball hit me."

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 with a walk. His two
singles gave him a major league-leading 238 hits this season, 19
short of George Sisler's major league record set in 1920. The
Mariners have 12 games remaining.

Winning pitcher John Lackey (13-12) gave up two runs and 10 hits
in six innings, striking out seven and walking none. Troy Percival
pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances.

"When your best player gets hit in the head, you're going to
have guys upset, but I don't believe there was intent," Percival
said.

Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy left the game after spraining
his right knee in the fifth on a fielding play. He will undergo an
MRI on Tuesday.

"It tightened up on me pretty good," he said.

Guerrero left after he was hit on the left side of his head by a
pitch from Franklin (4-16). Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia was
ejected for the fourth time this season after yelling and pointing
at Franklin.

"You sure hope a pitch like that is not intentional," Scioscia
said, adding that the umpires told him there was a report filed
recently about bad blood between the teams involving Guerrero.

"My contention was that Franklin should have been ejected if
the umpires were aware of some prior knowledge of some bad blood.
That's what I was upset with Franklin about. I told Franklin if
you're going to pitch inside, you've got to pitch inside
responsibly, but it was behind his head. It was disturbing."

Seattle's bench emptied, but no punches were thrown. Both
benches were warned.

"Shoot, the guy's pointing at me, and I said, `You pointing at
me?' And he said, `Yeah.' So we had some words," Franklin said,
denying that he intentionally hit Guerrero. "I wasn't even trying
to come inside. I was just trying to go up in the zone in the
middle of the plate."

Seattle manager Bob Melvin said Franklin wasn't trying to hit
Guerrero on an 0-2 count.

"They're in the heat of a pennant race and emotions run high,
but for him to start talking to our pitcher is uncalled for,"
Melvin said. "Ichiro got hit in the head in Kansas City and we
weren't out there yelling at their pitcher. That wasn't intentional
and neither was it on this end."

Franklin gave up four runs and 11 hits in five innings, becoming
the first Mariners pitcher to lose 16 games since Erik Hanson went
8-17 in 1992.

"Anytime you pitch back-to-back games against a team of this
caliber, it's going to be tough the second time around," said
Franklin, who beat the Angels five days ago. "If I was that sharp
every time out, I might be Cy Young or something."

McPherson started at third base in place of Chone Figgins as
Scioscia juggled the lineup in an attempt to spark the offense.
McPherson, who made his major league debut as a pinch-runner on
Sept. 10, doubled in the second and singled in the fourth. His RBI
single with two outs in the fifth gave Anaheim a 4-2 lead.

"Great performance," Scioscia said. "For a kid to come into a
pennant race and get his first start and swing the bat the way he
did gave us a big lift. You can see the talent is there. It was
great to see him make the plays defensively because he's worked
very hard on his defense."

A sacrifice fly by Kennedy scored Anaheim's first run in the
second. Jose Guillen had an RBI single and Darin Erstad added an
RBI groundout in the third to put the Angels ahead 3-0.

Guillen left in the eighth because of a strained right hip
flexor.

Seattle made it 3-2 in the fifth on RBI singles by Bret Boone
and Jolbert Cabrera.

The Mariners had the potential tying runs on second and third in
the eighth before Francisco Rodriguez got Hiram Bocachica to ground
into a fielder's choice that ended the inning.

The Angels made it 5-2 in the eighth when Figgins stole home
with a nifty slide on the front end of a double steal. Seattle
catcher Miguel Olivo thought he made the sweeping tag on Figgins in
time, but was ejected by plate umpire Wally Bell for arguing the
call after the inning ended.

Game notes
The Angels snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak in the
second. ... The Mariners lost their third straight. ... Seattle LF
Randy Winn left in the third with a bruised right knee after being
hit by a pitch from Lackey.