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Molina, Guillen homer in win

5/5/2004

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Jarrod Washburn knows he'll have to win a
low-scoring game one of these days.

For now, he just appreciates all the run support he's getting
from his Anaheim teammates.

Bengie Molina and Jose Guillen each homered and drove in three
runs, leading the Angels over Detroit 11-4 Tuesday night. Vladimir
Guerrero had two RBI for Anaheim, which has scored at least 10
runs in eight of its last 11 games against the Tigers -- including
the last three.

"It's great to go out there and have them score 10 runs for you
every time," said Washburn (5-1), who has a 5.35 ERA. "I know I
haven't pitched as well as I'm capable of, and I know my best
starts are ahead of me. So to have five wins already and not pitch
that well, it's a great feeling for me. I'll take these 10-run
games while I can get them."

Washburn, who lost a career-worst 15 games last season despite a
team-leading 3.96 ERA, is off to his best start in four years as a
full-time starter in the big leagues -- mostly because of the
Angels' power-packed lineup. They've scored 57 runs in his six
starts, and no fewer than six in any of them.

Last season, the Angels scored no more than three runs in 16 of
Washburn's 32 starts and were shut out in four of them. So pitching
with comfortable leads on a consistent basis had become an
adjustment for him.

"It's difficult at times," Washburn said. "I'm starting to
learn how, and I'm getting a little better at it. A lot of times
there's some long waits in the dugout where you stiffen up a little
bit, but it's not something I'm ever going to complain about. All
that matters are wins."

Washburn won his fourth straight start despite giving up home
runs to Ivan Rodriguez and Rondell White on consecutive pitches in
the fourth and a two-run shot by Carlos Pena in the seventh. The
left-hander allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Troy Glaus also connected for the Angels, who have won 10 of 12
overall and 18 of their last 20 meetings with Detroit.

"Anaheim's a great team and they've got a great lineup, so
they're going to score some runs," Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez
said. "We have to make good pitches against them -- but in these
last two series, we weren't able to. You can't make any mistakes
against them because they're going to take advantage of it."

The Angels teed off on left-hander Nate Robertson (1-2) for the
second time in six days, building a 6-0 lead through three innings.
Robertson retired only nine of 17 batters and allowed seven hits.
Last Thursday at Detroit, he gave up eight earned runs over 3 1-3
innings in a 12-3 loss to Washburn.

"He's not locating his pitches," Rodriguez said. "He's just
throwing too many balls over the plate and getting behind on a lot
of guys."

The first four batters in the Angels' second reached safely, and
all of them scored. Guillen singled home the first run and Molina
capped the rally with his third homer, golfing an 0-1 pitch into
the lower seats in the left-field corner in his first career at-bat
against Robertson.

The Tigers wasted a two-out triple by Omar Infante in the third
before Anaheim made it 6-0 in the bottom half with RBI singles by
Guerrero and Guillen.

"I know what I'm capable of doing when I'm playing every day,"
Guillen said. "I was leaving a lot of people on base, but lately
I've been driving everyone in. I'm going to leave a lot out there,
but I'm going to drive in a lot, too."

After the back-to-back homers by Rodriguez and White, the Angels
did likewise in the fifth against Esteban Yan with Glaus' ninth
homer and Guillen's third.

They tacked on three more in the sixth on Darin Erstad's
run-scoring groundout, Chone Figgins' RBI single and an RBI double
by Guerrero that chased Yan and increased the margin to 11-2.

Game notes
Yan has allowed 10 earned runs in his last three
appearances, after giving up just one in 12 1-3 innings over his
first six outings. ... Erstad extended his hitting streak to 12
games, three shy of his career best. ... Detroit RF Bobby
Higginson, hitless in his last 16 at-bats, was not in the starting
lineup despite having four hits in 12 career at-bats against
Washburn. ... Anaheim's Matt Hensley made his major league debut,
pitching a scoreless ninth.