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Angels blow open close game with six-run ninth

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels' dry spell ended on a
rainy night in Chicago.

The Angels scored a season-high six runs in the top of the ninth
and ended a three-game losing streak with a 12-5 win over the
Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

"That was huge for us," Tim Salmon said. "It just seems like
we were waiting from them to take it from us. ... The floodgates
kind of opened after that. Maybe a collective sigh of relief as a
group."

Garret Anderson hit a three-run double, Juan Rivera drove in
three runs and the Los Angeles Angels scored a season high in runs.
The Angels led 6-5 before exploding for a season-high six runs off
four White Sox relievers.

"Eventually guys are going to do the things they're capable of
doing," Anderson said. "It was just good to see guys do what
they're capable of."

The Angels battered the White Sox bullpen in the ninth as rain
fell on U.S. Cellular Field. Salmon had an RBI single, Rivera a
two-run double, Robb Quinlan an RBI double and Jose Molina a
two-run homer, his first of the season. Los Angeles had managed
only three runs and 11 hits in its three previous games, all
losses.

"The whole game on the offensive side was important," Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was good to break out and get a
little distance against a terrific bullpen."

The Angels won for only the third time in their last 13 games.
They had lost eight straight to the White Sox, dating to last
season's AL championship series. Chicago swept a three-game in
Anaheim last month and beat the Angels 9-1 on Tuesday.

Ervin Santana (3-1) gave up three runs and three hits in six
innings, striking out seven. Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 1-3
innings to earn his 10th save in 11 chances.

Santana retired the first 11 batters, striking out five in that
span, and had a no-hitter going until A.J. Pierzynski's ground-rule
double in the fifth. One out later, Santana hit Juan Uribe and gave
up a three-run homer to Brian Anderson.

"I've been practicing in the bullpen keeping the ball down and
throwing first pitch strikes," Santana said. "In the game I tried
to do that. I'm very happy with my performance today."

The White Sox added two more runs in the seventh off Brendan
Donnelly. Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi each hit RBI singles
in the inning.

The Angels took a 4-0 lead in the third, finding the solution to
their recent anemic offense: rookie knuckleballer Charlie Haeger.

Haeger (0-1) had a rough start in his major league debut for the
White Sox, giving up six runs and five hits with six walks in 4 1-3
innings. He got off to a shaky beginning, walking three in a
29-pitch first inning. He managed to escape unscathed thanks to a
double-play grounder by Vladimir Guerrero.

"Is there an approach against a knuckleballer?" Salmon said.
"I think everybody, the hitter, the catcher, the umpire, they were
all struggling back there."

Haeger struck out Adam Kennedy to lead off the third inning but
Kennedy made it to first on a passed ball. Haeger then walked Chone
Figgins and Orlando Cabrera and Kennedy scored on Guerrero's single
off a diving Joe Crede's glove. Garret Anderson cleared the bases
with a double to right.

"You don't know what to expect with a knuckleballer," White
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It can be real good or it can be
real ugly. I think this kid threw a couple good innings. In the
beginning of the game you could see he was rushing and his stuff
wasn't there."

Haeger left in the fifth after giving up a walk and three
singles. Salmon and Rivera each knocked in runs in the inning. He
was sent back down to Triple-A after the game, spending less than a
day in the majors.

"Call it what you want, first-game jitters, I guess," Haeger
said. "I was just quick out there. I felt fast."

Brandon McCarthy pitched well in relief, giving up two runs and
two hits in a season-high four innings. He will start Monday in
Minnesota in Jose Contreras' spot.

Haeger, 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA for Triple-A Charlotte, was called
up before Wednesday's game to start in place of Contreras, who went
on the disabled list with sciatica in his right leg.
^Notes:@ White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen still believes that Kelvim
Escobar hit Pierzynski on purpose when the teams met in Anaheim
last month. Escobar denies he did it intentionally. "He does
whatever he wants to do, but do I think he hit him on purpose?
Yes," Guillen said. Escobar denied any wrongdoing. "I'm going to
pitch my game so I don't want to worry about that stuff," he said.
... The Angels had been hitting just .199 in the first seven games
of their road trip (2-5) and were outscored 34-17.