Guerrero's first career inside-the-park shot broke an
eighth-inning tie, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore
Orioles 5-2 Friday night for their third straight victory.
"Hitting one over the fence is more fun. Running home to home
is not easy," Guerrero said through a translator.
Orlando Cabrera greeted reliever Todd Williams (1-2) with a
leadoff single in the eighth. One out later, Guerrero stroked the
first pitch the other way toward the right-field line. Gibbons dove
for the ball and missed, his momentum sending him crashing against
the box seat railing.
Gibbons scrambled to his feet after injuring his right shoulder
and heaved the ball over the cutoff man, while Guerrero ignored
coach Dino Ebel's stop sign at third base and kept going. Gibbons
was taken out of the game at that point, but walked off the field
under his own power.
"I knew Gibbons was hurt, and Dino did hold me up, but I was
looking at the throw at the time and I couldn't stop in that
situation, knowing that I had to do my job as a baserunner,"
Guerrero said. "And I knew that the arc of the throw would allow
me to score."
As far as the pitch was concerned, Williams was upset at himself
because of the location.
"Guerrero can hit the ball anywhere, but it doesn't help when
you don't make your pitch," Williams said. "I was just trying to
get ahead of him and I tried to get it in a little more on him.
Obviously, I'll accept all the blame for that. That wasn't the
pitch I wanted to make, but at least if I threw it in on him and he
had beaten me, I would have felt better about it."
Gibbons was playing in his second game since his mother's death.
He will miss Sunday's game to attend her funeral and rejoin his
teammates in Baltimore on Tuesday when they host Tampa Bay.
"The last thing he needs right now is to be hurt on top of
everything else that's going on with him," Williams said. "But
the effort was outstanding. The end result wasn't great, but I'll
take that kind of effort from somebody every day."
Williams gave up singles to the next three batters, including
rookie Mike Napoli, whose RBI made it 5-2.
Scot Shields (2-3) got three outs in the eighth for the win and
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save in
13 chances. Dallas McPherson also homered for the Angels, whose
winning streak tied a season best.
Angels starter Ervin Santana opened the eighth inning with his
only two walks of the game, to Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora.
Shields relieved and got Miguel Tejada to ground into a force at
second, thanks to a diving stop in the hole by third baseman
McPherson. Gibbons and Ramon Hernandez then struck out.
Santana took a two-hit shutout into the sixth before the Orioles
tied it with two runs. Roberts doubled and scored on Mora's single.
Tejada grounded into a fielder's choice, then advanced on a balk
and a wild pitch before Gibbons drove him in with a single.
Angels first baseman Kendry Morales, playing his third major
league game and first in front of the home crowd, robbed Mora of a
hit when he made a diving grab of a liner to end the Orioles' third
inning and strand a runner at second. The Angels opened the scoring
in the bottom half on Adam Kennedy's triple and Chone Figgins'
McPherson made it 2-0 in the fourth, driving a 2-0 pitch from
Bruce Chen into the lower seats in the right-field corner. It was
his 14th career homer and first against a left-handed pitcher.
Chen allowed two runs and five hits over six innings and struck
out six in his first career start against the Angels and his first
appearance in Anaheim. The left-hander, 0-5 in nine starts this
season, made it past the fifth inning for only the third time.
Santana allowed two runs and six hits in seven-plus innings. The
right-hander was moved up a day in the rotation after reliever
Esteban Yan was designated for assignment and Friday's scheduled
starter, Kevin Gregg, went back to the bullpen to fill the void.
The Orioles played their first game at Angel Stadium since Aug.
4, the day Sam Perlozzo made his debut as a big league manager
after replacing the fired Lee Mazzilli. Baltimore is 45-59 under
Perlozzo -- two games worse than Mazzilli was after his first 104
games. Mazzilli's predecessor, Mike Hargrove, started 46-58.
Angels LF Garret Anderson played in his 1,661st
regular-season game with the Angels, tying Brian Downing's
franchise record. ... Of the 64 hits Chen has allowed this season,
23 have gone for extra bases -- including 14 home runs. He gave up
33 last year, tying Brad Radke for second-most in the AL behind
knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.