ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels stretched their
winning streak to nine games, completed their first four-game sweep
in seven years, and opened up a 2½-game lead in the AL West.
Yet, no one was smiling after their 8-4 victory Sunday over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The postgame atmosphere in the clubhouse was gloomy because the
Angels lost another regular player to injury. Left fielder Jose
Guillen, who homered for the fourth time in six games, had to be
carted off the field in the seventh inning due to a sprained left
knee and ankle.
"It's not fun having to deal with this stuff," left-hander
Jarrod Washburn said after winning his fifth straight start. "It
seems like every day, important guys are going down. We already
have two huge guys out of the lineup, and in the last two days we
lose two more. You can only take so much. It's getting to be
ridiculous, but we're not going to give up."
Utilityman Jeff DaVanon homered and drove in four runs for the
Angels, who have won 15 of 17 and are two wins shy of the
franchise's record winning streak, set in June 1964.
"It's weird to have won 15 out of 17 and have the mood in here
that we have now," Washburn said. "Every year, it seems like
something like this happens to us. It's got to stop sometimes, but
we'll keep plugging away. Guys will have to step up, and the
pitchers will have to do the same."
Guillen was injured sliding into second base with a double. If
he lands on the DL, the Angels will be missing four of their nine
regular starters when they play in New York on Tuesday. And that
doesn't count third baseman Troy Glaus, who was the DH for the
ninth straight game while resting his sore left shoulder.
"Anytime a player has to be carted off the field, your heart
skips a beat," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Our depth is being
tested, and we're stretched to the limit. The guys who are out of
the lineup make up a pretty good team. But right now, we don't have
any players who we consider bench players."
On the pitch following Guillen's injury, DaVanon proved
Scioscia's point by homering against reliever John Halama to
increase Anaheim's margin to 8-4 and help complete the first 7-0
homestand in Angels history.
Tampa Bay left fielder Eduardo Perez, a first-round pick of the
Angels in 1991, tore his left Achilles tendon while trying to
stretch a double in the fifth. He also was carted off the field.
The Devil Rays have lost four straight and 12 of 14, but they
will play 15 of their next 18 at home -- something third baseman
Geoff Blum is looking forward to.
"Hopefully, just finding some kind of routine will get us going
and get us in a groove," Blum said. "Coming into the season,
everybody thought that we would battle and compete. I know it's
still early, but we're just in an incredible funk."
Washburn (6-1) continued to enjoy a generous supply of run
support from his teammates, who have scored 65 runs in his seven
starts -- and at least six in each. He allowed four runs and 10 hits
in 6 2-3 innings, walked none and struck out five.
Rodriguez got seven outs for his first save, and has struck out
28 batters in 17 innings this season without allowing an earned
Victor Zambrano (3-3) lost his third straight decision, allowing
six runs and seven hits in five innings.
Tino Martinez of the Devil Rays tied it 1-1 the third with his
sixth homer, and finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Erstad strained his right hamstring running the bases Saturday
and was replaced on the roster by Casey Kotchman, who made his
major league debut at first base. Kotchman got his first major
league RBI during his second plate appearance. He capped a four-run
third inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Guillen and made it
The Devil Rays played their 1,000th game since joining the
AL in 1998. They are 390-610. ... The four-game sweep was the
Angels' first since July 1997 at Cleveland, and their first at home
since June 1997 against Oakland. ... Kotchman, the Angels' No. 1
draft pick in 2001, is the son of longtime Angels scout Tom
Kotchman, who manages their Rookie League team.