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Colon wins fourth straight decision

NEW YORK (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero didn't need to provide the big
hit in his return from the disabled list. His mere presence in the
Los Angeles Angels' lineup was enough to help his teammates.

Guerrero had three hits and scored three runs, a more modest
offensive output than teammates Steve Finley and Darin Erstad, who
each homered in the Angels' 12-2 win over the New York Mets on
Friday night.

Bartolo Colon won his fourth straight decision in Guerrero's
first game since the reigning AL MVP partially dislocated his
shoulder May 20.

"He makes everyone around him better. There's no question what
he does to a lineup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's
not going to relate to 12 runs all the time."

Colon (8-3) wound up outpitching Mets starter Kazuhisa Ishii,
and has four wins in six starts since losing May 7 to Detroit. He
went six innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. He struck
out three with no walks.

Ishii (1-5) was overpowering his first two times through the
Angels' order. The left-hander threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of
18 batters, and lefties looked particularly uncomfortable against
him.

His promising night came to a quick halt in the sixth, shortly
after he had to run the bases. He gave up a four-pitch walk to
Chone Figgins and allowed a tying homer to Erstad, who struck out
his first two times up, lunging awkwardly at a pitch far outside
the zone his second time.

"That might have been the best five innings that we've had
pitched against us in a while," Scioscia said.

Erstad's home run was followed by bloop singles from Guerrero
and Garret Anderson. A sacrifice and a strikeout later, Finley hit
a three-run shot to right-center and Mike DeJean relieved Ishii.

"Stamina wasn't the problem," Ishii said through an
interpreter.

Mets manager Willie Randolph said Ishii's spot in the rotation
was not in immediate jeopardy, despite his rough turn in the sixth.

"It was kind of puzzling to have him go like that so quickly,"
Randolph said. "Maybe the inning before took a lot out of him
running the bases, I don't know. I would hate to think that's the
case."

Finley, who went 3-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, drove in four
runs and has 16 RBI in his past 13 games. Erstad's homer extended
his hitting streak to 11 games. Orlando Cabrera added a three-run
shot off Manny Aybar in the ninth that just eluded leaping left
fielder Cliff Floyd's glove.

Ishii struck out a season-high nine and walked just two in 5 2/3
innings. He gave up five runs on six hits. For the first five
innings, anyway, it was a promising effort from a pitcher who began
the night with more walks (23) than strikeouts (20).

Colon, meanwhile, was simply efficient. Like Ishii, he threw
first-pitch strikes to 22 of 25 batters, but he limited the damage
to Jose Reyes' RBI single in the third and Miguel Cairo's sacrifice
fly in the fifth.

"My mentality was to throw strikes," Colon said through an
interpreter.

Colon added an RBI single off DeJean in the sixth. It was the
first multihomer inning of the season for the Angels, who have been
hitting well over .300 in the past two weeks.

Joel Peralta pitched two innings in of relief of Colon, who came
out after only 88 pitches because of the humidity and previous high
pitch-count outings. Esteban Yan finished up the victory, which was
the Angels' ninth in 14 games.

"The guys have been going good without me," Guerrero said
through an interpreter.

The Angels were playing their first series against the Mets at
Shea, but visited Flushing for a game against the Yankees in 1998,
when Yankee Stadium was declared unsafe because a 500-pound,
steel-and-concrete joint had crashed from the upper deck while the
ballpark was empty.

Game notes
The Angels placed RHP Kelvim Escobar back on the 15-day DL
because of a bone spur in his right elbow. ... Colon's helmet flew
off his head twice as he swung at pitches in the third inning. ...
It was Greek Night at Shea. The nearby Queens neighborhood of
Astoria is home to a large population of Greek immigrants. ...
Dallas McPherson broke his bat grounding out in the fifth inning.
The shattered barrel of the bat careered through the infield and
came to rest upright, with the shattered point sticking into the
infield grass.