Series: Game 1 of 3

Anaheim leads 1-0 (as of 9/20)

Game 1: Monday, September 20
Game 2: Tuesday, September 21
Game 3: Wednesday, September 22

Mariners 2

(56-94, 19-52 away)

Angels 5

(85-65, 43-33 home)

    10:05 PM ET, September 20, 2004

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 000020000 2 12 0
    ANA 01201001 - 5 12 1

    W: J. Lackey (13-12)

    L: R. Franklin (4-16)

    S: T. Percival (29)

    Angels 2.5 games behind A's in West

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Dallas McPherson saved the ball and lineup card to go with the memories he'll have of his three hits and an RBI in his first major league start.

    McPherson's offense helped the Anaheim Angels gain ground in the playoff race with a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

    "It was a great experience. I couldn't ask for anything better," he said. "It gives me a lot of confidence knowing they have confidence in me."

    The Angels closed within 2½ games of idle Oakland in the AL West and 4½ of Boston in the wild-card chase despite playing most of the night without star right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who was hit in the head by a pitch in the first inning.

    X-rays at a hospital were normal, and Guerrero returned to the dugout during the game.

    "I don't think it was intentional. With two strikes, you're not going to do that," Guerrero said, referring to Ryan Franklin. "I feel good. I only feel sore where the ball hit me."

    Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 with a walk. His two singles gave him a major league-leading 238 hits this season, 19 short of George Sisler's major league record set in 1920. The Mariners have 12 games remaining.

    Winning pitcher John Lackey (13-12) gave up two runs and 10 hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking none. Troy Percival pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances.

    "When your best player gets hit in the head, you're going to have guys upset, but I don't believe there was intent," Percival said.

    Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy left the game after spraining his right knee in the fifth on a fielding play. He will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

    "It tightened up on me pretty good," he said.

    Guerrero left after he was hit on the left side of his head by a pitch from Franklin (4-16). Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia was ejected for the fourth time this season after yelling and pointing at Franklin.

    "You sure hope a pitch like that is not intentional," Scioscia said, adding that the umpires told him there was a report filed recently about bad blood between the teams involving Guerrero.

    "My contention was that Franklin should have been ejected if the umpires were aware of some prior knowledge of some bad blood. That's what I was upset with Franklin about. I told Franklin if you're going to pitch inside, you've got to pitch inside responsibly, but it was behind his head. It was disturbing."

    Seattle's bench emptied, but no punches were thrown. Both benches were warned.

    "Shoot, the guy's pointing at me, and I said, `You pointing at me?' And he said, `Yeah.' So we had some words," Franklin said, denying that he intentionally hit Guerrero. "I wasn't even trying to come inside. I was just trying to go up in the zone in the middle of the plate."

    Seattle manager Bob Melvin said Franklin wasn't trying to hit Guerrero on an 0-2 count.

    "They're in the heat of a pennant race and emotions run high, but for him to start talking to our pitcher is uncalled for," Melvin said. "Ichiro got hit in the head in Kansas City and we weren't out there yelling at their pitcher. That wasn't intentional and neither was it on this end."

    Franklin gave up four runs and 11 hits in five innings, becoming the first Mariners pitcher to lose 16 games since Erik Hanson went 8-17 in 1992.

    "Anytime you pitch back-to-back games against a team of this caliber, it's going to be tough the second time around," said Franklin, who beat the Angels five days ago. "If I was that sharp every time out, I might be Cy Young or something."

    McPherson started at third base in place of Chone Figgins as Scioscia juggled the lineup in an attempt to spark the offense. McPherson, who made his major league debut as a pinch-runner on Sept. 10, doubled in the second and singled in the fourth. His RBI single with two outs in the fifth gave Anaheim a 4-2 lead.

    "Great performance," Scioscia said. "For a kid to come into a pennant race and get his first start and swing the bat the way he did gave us a big lift. You can see the talent is there. It was great to see him make the plays defensively because he's worked very hard on his defense."

    A sacrifice fly by Kennedy scored Anaheim's first run in the second. Jose Guillen had an RBI single and Darin Erstad added an RBI groundout in the third to put the Angels ahead 3-0.

    Guillen left in the eighth because of a strained right hip flexor.

    Seattle made it 3-2 in the fifth on RBI singles by Bret Boone and Jolbert Cabrera.

    The Mariners had the potential tying runs on second and third in the eighth before Francisco Rodriguez got Hiram Bocachica to ground into a fielder's choice that ended the inning.

    The Angels made it 5-2 in the eighth when Figgins stole home with a nifty slide on the front end of a double steal. Seattle catcher Miguel Olivo thought he made the sweeping tag on Figgins in time, but was ejected by plate umpire Wally Bell for arguing the call after the inning ended.

    Game notes

    The Angels snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak in the second. ... The Mariners lost their third straight. ... Seattle LF Randy Winn left in the third with a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch from Lackey.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press