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.
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