|Guerrero's homer gives Angels a comeback victory|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 03 June 2007 22:28|
Held to one hit through seven innings, the AL West leaders beat Baltimore 4-3 on Sunday when Guerrero hit a two-run homer off Orioles closer Chris Ray in the bottom of the ninth inning.
``Something in my heart told me that Vladdy was going to hit a homer,'' Angels starter Ervin Santana said. ``He waited for his pitch and he hit it good.''
Chone Figgins greeted Ray (3-4) with a leadoff single in the ninth before Guerrero drove a hanging slider to left-center for his 350th career homer and 12th this season.
Los Angeles won for the 14th time in 18 games and improved to 36-22, matching the best start in franchise history (1989). The Angels are a season-best 14 games over .500, and their 22-8 home record is the best in the major leagues.
This victory appeared unlikely, however, while Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie was shutting down Los Angeles' lineup.
``It feels very good, especially knowing what our guys did on the mound, to be able to pick them up,'' Guerrero said through a translator. ``The hits were hard to come by today. Some solid contact, but their guy also did a good job. Definitely, it's a huge win for us.''
In other AL games, it was: New York 6, Boston 5; Detroit 9, Cleveland 2; Oakland 4, Minnesota 2; Toronto 4, Chicago 3; Seattle 11, Texas 6; and Tampa Bay 5, Kansas City 1.
Chris Bootcheck (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league victory. It was the fourth blown save for Ray in 16 chances.
``Every loss is tough, especially when you lose in the ninth inning,'' Ray said. ``I don't feel good about it. Jeremy pitched a great game and he deserved to win it. It didn't come out that way, so obviously it's tough for him to have thrown that great and not get a decision out of it.''
Guthrie allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits over eight innings. Melvin Mora homered for Baltimore.
Angels left fielder Garret Anderson played his first game since April 27 after missing the previous 34 because of a sore hip flexor on his right side. The Angels were 23-11 in his absence.
Guerrero is batting .362 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs in the Angels' 36 wins and .293 with two homers and eight RBIs in their 17 losses with him in the lineup.
Jose Molina's one-out single in the third was the only hit for the Angels until Shea Hillenbrand singled with one out in the eighth and pinch-hitter Casey Kotchman followed with a double. Hillenbrand scored on Howie Kendrick's groundout, trimming Baltimore's lead to 3-2.
Santana gave up three runs and seven hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one.
Yankees 6, Red Sox 5
At Boston, Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning on an 0-2 pitch from Jonathan Papelbon (0-1), and New York rallied to take two of three in the series.
Rodriguez reached 20 homers for the 12th straight season and improved to 7-for-15 with four homers and 11 RBIs in the ninth inning this year.
The Yankees' late comeback from a 5-4 deficit kept them out of last place in the AL East and left them 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox. New York tied it in the eighth on Robinson Cano's RBI triple against Hideki Okajima. Mariano Rivera earned his fifth save - just his second since May 3.
Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, trying to improve to 9-0, allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Tigers 9, Indians 2
At Cleveland, Jeremy Bonderman (5-0) overcame another shaky first inning and Detroit gained a four-game split.
Gary Sheffield hit a two-run homer off Jeremy Sowers (1-6) for the Tigers, who pulled within 2 1/2 games of first-place Cleveland in the AL Central with a second straight win after going 0-5 against the Indians. Bonderman won his fifth straight start since April 30 after five no-decisions.
Athletics 4, Twins 2
At Oakland, Calif., Chad Gaudin (6-1) beat Johan Santana (6-5) for his fifth straight win, and the Athletics took two of three games from Minnesota in a playoff rematch. Alan Embree got four outs for his fourth save.
Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3
At Toronto, Adam Lind made up for a baserunning blunder with a go-ahead, three-run double in the sixth.
Brian Tallet (2-1) pitched three hitless innings and Jeremy Accardo earned his seventh save in eight chances. Toronto overcame a two-run homer from Jim Thome and a solo shot by Rob Mackowiak. Chicago has lost seven of eight.
Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch from John Danks.
Mariners 11, Rangers 6
At Seattle, Jose Lopez had four hits, including a three-run double to highlight a five-run fourth, and Ryan Feierabend (1-1) lasted 7 1-3 innings to earn his first career win.
Victor Diaz had a career-high five RBIs with a three-run homer and a two-run shot for the bumbling Rangers. Mark Teixeira added a solo homer, but Robinson Tejeda (4-6) gave up a season-high eight runs - seven earned - and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Devil Rays 5, Royals 1
At St. Petersburg, Fla., J.P. Howell (1-0) pitched eight impressive innings in his first start this season, and Tampa Bay got solo homers from Delmon Young and Carlos Pena.
Scott Elarton (1-2) lost for the sixth time in six career starts against the Devil Rays. The Royals lost for just the third time in 11 road games.