Guerrero continues sizzling post-DL pace with 2 jacks as Angels stomp Mariners

SEATTLE -- The differences between the AL West-ruling Los Angeles Angels and these fledgling Seattle Mariners are vast.

Eleven games in the standings. Ten runs on Monday. And one "incredible" slugger.

Vladimir Guerrero belted his favorite victims with two more home runs, the second a monster shot into the upper deck. Juan Rivera added a three-run homer, Joe Saunders dominated in seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Angels reminded Seattle who rules the division with a 10-0 runaway victory on Monday night.

It was the Angels' biggest rout of Seattle since May 21, 1997, when they won 18-3 at home.

The Mariners were blanked for the second consecutive day. Kansas City's Zack Greinke threw a one-hitter against them on Sunday.

"Easy gas," is what Angels manager Mike Scioscia called Saunders' fastball. It held the AL's lowest-scoring team to just three hits in Saunders' second start following a three-week hiatus for shoulder inflammation.

Scioscia could have been talking about Los Angeles' latest romp through the AL West. The defending two-time division champions moved six games ahead of Texas and 11 ahead of Seattle in a division race that has turned into a rout entering the final month.

Guerrero's second home run was vintage, jaw-dropping stuff. Seattle's Chris Jakubauskas, a native of Southern California, threw a curveball that dived toward the dirt. Guerrero swung low and wildly hard, like a golfer hacking out of deep rough.

The ball soared over a stationary left fielder, over Los Angeles' bullpen, over a stairwell then concourse, above a sign honoring Jackie Robinson and finally into the second row of a rarely reached upper deck.

The third multi-home run game this season for Guerrero was his 20th with the Angels, whom he joined in 2004. That ties Tim Salmon's team record.

"I'll tell you what, breaking ball low, they're aren't many guys in baseball who can do that," Scioscia said. "That was incredible."

The awed Mariners used the same term.

"A curveball off the ground. I was going to catch that ball in the dirt -- and he hit it into the upper deck," Seattle catcher Rob Johnson said, marveling. "He's incredible."

Guerrero has 39 multihomer games in his career. It only feels like 38 have them have come against the Mariners.

He has 28 home runs in 93 career games against them. That's the most home runs against an AL opponent for the eight-time All-Star.

Seattle played its first game since May against the division kingpins without All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre, active home run leader Ken Griffey Jr. and season home-run leader Russell Branyan.

Suzuki and Beltre are expected to return Tuesday.

In the meantime, the results were predictable against Saunders (11-7). He improved to 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season.

As Scioscia said before the game, this is the first time Los Angeles has felt it had five dominant starters pitching at the same time this season. Scott Kazmir, acquired last week from Tampa Bay, starts the series finale in his Angels debut Wednesday.

It presents a looming issue for the Angels by the end of September: Which three start in the opening, best-of-five playoff series?

"I've got to follow in their footsteps," Saunders said of hot ace John Lackey and Jered Weaver. "I'll let Scioscia make that decision."

Guerrero followed a sacrifice fly in the third by Torii Hunter with a two-run homer off Luke French (4-4). His 12th home run of the season made it 3-0.

The Angels had 10 hits and a 7-0 lead three batters into the fifth, following Rivera's three-run homer. He has 21 homers, two shy of his career high set in 2006.

French allowed a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. It was his sixth and worst start since he joined Seattle in the Jarrod Washburn trade a month ago.

Seattle's lineup was so lacking in star power -- or power of any kind -- it could have used No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley stepping over a short fence from the first row of box seats to join it. The sweet-swinging left-handed bat pinged line drives all over in batting practice before the game, on his way to Arizona for instructional and fall league play.

Game notes
Guerrero, a Montreal Expo from 1996-2003, has 31 home runs in 91 games against Philadelphia. ... Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said Branyan, tied for third in the AL with 31 home runs entering Monday, had an epidural injection into his back from his herniated disk. The team hopes Branyan can return by Sept. 15, if at all this season.