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Guerrero snaps out of funk with home run

SEATTLE (AP) -- Paul Byrd struggles with most of the American
League. The Seattle Mariners, however, are not a problem for him.

Byrd remained unbeaten against the Mariners, allowing just two
runs in 6 2/3 innings as the Los Angeles Angels beat Seattle 5-2
Wednesday, extending their winning streak to four games.

"I needed that one for sanity purposes," Byrd said. "I felt
like some things started to go my way."

In his previous outing, Byrd (2-3) let a 4-1 lead slip away in a
7-4 loss to Minnesota. Against Oakland on April 23, Byrd lasted
just 4 2/3 innings.

But he's figured out the Mariners. He improved to 5-0 lifetime
against them, including 4-0 in Seattle. Both his wins this year
have come against Seattle.

"It was a great effort by Paul. His pitches have been just a
tick off," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Early on, he felt
his groin was a little tight, but he stayed with it and made
pitches the whole time he was in there. That was key."

Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the first inning,
snapping an 0-for-9 slump, his longest of the year. Chone Figgins
had walked before Guerrero's 411-foot shot to left-center field.

Guerrero reached base four times, including a double off the
left-field wall in the fifth, but did not talk afterward.

"He's not cold for long," Scioscia said. "He can have three
tough at-bats where it looks like he's struggling, then out of
nowhere he'll take a bad pitch and just drive it. He's a special
player."

Seattle lost its fifth straight and fell a season-high five
games behind the Angels in the AL West. The Mariners' 3-4-5 hitters
-- Adrian Beltre, Richie Sexson and Bret Boone -- combined to go
4-for-35 in the series.

The Angels completed their first three-game sweep of the season
and improved to 4-1 against Seattle.

"I thought we swung the bats pretty well," Seattle manager
Mike Hargrove said. "We just didn't get any big hits to drive in
runs when we had the chance."

Byrd continued a positive trend for the Angels as starters have
worked at least six innings in seven of their last eight games,
going 6-2.

Byrd also got some luck.

Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Seattle's Jeremy Reed
ripped a shot down the first base line. The Angels' Darin Erstad
caught the liner and doubled off Raul Ibanez at first base.

The pitch before, Reed had just pulled a ball foul down the
right-field line.

"I feel like the big turn in the game was the Erstad double
play, after that ball missed the foul line by a foot," Byrd said.
"The Erstad play gave me a lot of confidence."

Aaron Sele (2-3) lasted just 4 1/3 innings for Seattle, losing
for the second time this year to the club he pitched for from
2002-04. Sele walked a season-high five, giving up four runs and
six hits. Seattle's pitching staff gave up a season-high nine
walks.

"The walks hurt me and giving up three hits in the third inning
was really the downfall today," Sele said. "I made too many
pitches."

Seattle tied the score 2-2 in the second on two-out RBI singles
from Dan Wilson and Wilson Valdez, but a walk and three straight
singles put the Angels ahead in the third. Orlando Cabrera singled
to center scoring Guerrero and Dallas McPherson drove home Steve
Finley with a single to right.

Garrett Anderson added an RBI single in the ninth off Seattle
closer Eddie Guardado.

Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth for his seventh save in
eight chances.

Ichiro Suzuki provided another highlight for the Mariners,
throwing out Guerrero at home plate in the fifth when he tagged up
and tried to score on Cabrera's one-out fly to right. In a similar
situation in the seventh, Guerrero stayed at third.

Game notes
Angels C Josh Paul left in the sixth with a bruised right
thumb after being hit in the hand on a ball thrown by Valdez,
Seattle's shortstop, while trying to break up a double play. Paul
said he believes it will be a day-to-day situation. ... Seattle CF
Reed was dropped to seventh in the lineup after batting second in
20 of the first 28 games. "It's something I've been thinking about
for a while," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. Reed was
0-for-4. ... Wilson left with a sore right knee in the seventh
after sliding back into first base on a fly ball. He had an MRI
after the game.