Series: Game 2 of 3

LA Angels leads 2-0 (as of 9/24)

Game 1: Friday, September 23
Tampa Bay5Final
LA Angels7
Game 2: Saturday, September 24
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LA Angels7
Game 3: Sunday, September 25
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LA Angels4

Devil Rays 3

(64-91, 24-53 away)

Angels 7

(89-65, 49-31 home)

    10:05 PM ET, September 24, 2005

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

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    W: J. Washburn (8-8)

    L: D. Waechter (5-11)

    Angels' Washburn wins for the first time in a month

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- A couple of forgotten Angels showed up just in time to contribute to the stretch run.

    Steve Finley hit a three-run homer, Jarrod Washburn won for the first time in a month, and Los Angeles stretched its winning streak to eight with a 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

    "It was great to get a big contribution from Finley, and to get Washburn back out there," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said after the win kept the AL West-leading Angels four games ahead of Oakland.

    "We've been waiting for some of those from Steve, and tonight he did it. And after a rough start, Washburn settled down and pitched well."

    The 40-year-old Finley, slumping most of the season and batting .216 coming in, homered off Doug Waechter (5-11) in the second inning. The home run was Finley's 11th of the year and only the fourth in his last 59 games. He also doubled and scored a run.

    "He's been doing it a long time, and there's no doubt in my mind he's going to continue to do it," said Darin Erstad, who had two hits and scored twice.

    Said Washburn: "It was great to see. Everybody has felt bad for Finley this season, he's always out there working so hard."

    The Angels reduced their magic number for clinching the division to five. The Athletics, who host a four-game series against Los Angeles beginning Monday, rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Texas 7-6.

    Last September, Finley hit a career-high 36 homers, including a walk-off grand slam that clinched the NL West title for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the next-to-last game of the regular season. He signed a free agent contract with the Angels over the winter.

    Washburn (8-8) had missed his previous two turns because of tendinitis in his forearm. The left-hander spent time on the disabled list in August because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Winning for just the second time since July 14, Washburn held the Devil Rays to two runs, both in the first inning, and six hits in six innings.

    "I didn't know what to expect, but I felt good out there," Washburn said.

    Vladimir Guerrero hit a solo homer off Waechter to begin a four-run second. The home run was his 32nd, and the RBI his 106th. Darin Erstad had two hits and scored twice for Los Angeles.

    Waechter allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings.

    With the Angels trailing 2-0, Guerrero led off the second inning by driving a Waechter pitch over the wall in right field. Erstad and Bengie Molina followed with singles, then, after Juan Rivera lined out to short, Finley hit a 1-2 pitch into the seats in right.

    "Obviously, it was the big inning that hurt me," Waechter said. "Truthfully, I thought they were both good pitches, but they were the wrong pitches. Guerrero, I let him get extended on it. It was a fastball away.

    "Obviously, he is who he is and he can do that to a good pitch. With Finley, I just strayed away from the game plan a little bit. What I was going to do was go inside more instead of outside."

    Tampa Bay scored a pair of quick runs against Washburn. Julio Lugo led off the game with an infield single, then Carl Crawford bunted back to the mound. Washburn slipped as he fielded the ball, then threw wildly to first.

    Lugo went all the way home, and Crawford took third on the two-base error. Crawford then scored on Jorge Cantu's sacrifice fly.

    Washburn followed with five shutout innings before Scot Shields took over to start the seventh.

    Game notes

    With 296 home runs and 313 steals, Finley needs four more homers to become the fifth player to reach the 300 milestone in both categories. Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Andrew Dawson and Barry Bonds each have done it. ... Los Angeles hitting coach Mickey Hatcher served a one-game suspension, which he drew for going on the field to argue an umpire's decision on Sept. 8 at Boston. ... The win was only Washburn's second in eight decisions spanning 12 games at home this season. ... Anaheim LF Garret Anderson was back in the lineup as the DH after missing three games with a sore back and had an RBI double. He has missed 19 games this season because of injuries. ... Although they lost the first two games of the series against the Angels, the Devil Rays are assured their first winning season against AL West teams -- they're 17-14 with one game remaining.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press