Guerrero's 2 Homers Lead Angels Past O's

Wednesday, September 12th 2007, 9:52 am
By: News On 6

Vladimir Guerrero was healthy enough to hit _ and that's exactly what he did.

Back in the lineup after missing four games with a sore arm, Guerrero had a pair of two-run homers that led the Los Angeles Angels to a 10-5 victory at Baltimore on Tuesday night.

``He's such a great hitter, I think you're probably better off making him hit pitches out of the strike zone than you are throwing him pitches in the strike zone,'' Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. ``The guy's a great bad ball hitter to begin with. I think you're complicating the matter even more when you throw the ball in the middle of the plate to him.''

Guerrero had been out because of inflammation in his right triceps. The star right fielder came back as the designated hitter and helped the AL West leaders extend their cushion over second-place Seattle to 9 1/2 games with 18 to play.

The Angels, however, lost center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative, and the team said he will miss at least the next five games.

He left in the third inning after his spikes got caught in the dirt during an awkward slide into second base on a two-out grounder to shortstop Miguel Tejada, who threw to first _ not second.

``I thought I broke it,'' said Matthews, who was on crutches and wearing a protective brace. ``I was thinking I wouldn't be able to play in the playoffs. But it's not broken. Now it's a matter of getting the swelling down so we can strengthen it.''

In other AL games, it was: Boston 16, Tampa Bay 10; New York 9, Toronto 2; Cleveland 8, Chicago 3; Texas 13, Detroit 6 in the opener of a doubleheader; Detroit 4, Texas 1 in the nightcap; Minnesota 6, Kansas City 3; and Oakland 7, Seattle 4.

Los Angeles also played without infielder Maicer Izturis, who has a sore right foot.

``It's part of baseball. Guys are going to get nicked up,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We're getting down here to crunch time, it's not an opportune time. You deal with what you're dealt. We have depth on this club, and we have to keep moving forward.''

Chone Figgins doubled twice and drove in three runs as the Angels won their fifth straight road game. They are 49-25 at home and 36-34 on the road.

Guerrero connected off Victor Santos (0-1) to cap a five-run third inning and added another two-run shot off Fernando Cabrera in the seventh. It was his 33rd career multihomer game and fourth this season. He needs one home run to reach 25 for a 10th consecutive year.

The slugger has 24 RBIs in his last 23 games and has hit safely in 19 of the last 21.

Joe Saunders (8-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings, but received enough offensive support to earn his first win in four starts since Aug. 19.

Kevin Millar went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Orioles, who have lost 17 of 20. Baltimore (61-82) is assured of its 10th consecutive losing season.

Red Sox 16, Devil Rays 10

At Boston, Mike Lowell had four hits and Kevin Youkilis hit a bases-loaded triple during a six-run sixth inning as the Red Sox rallied from an 8-1 deficit for their biggest comeback victory since 2000.

David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered for Boston, which set a season high for runs and stayed five games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the AL East. Tim Wakefield was chased after three-plus innings.

Yankees 9, Blue Jays 2

At Toronto, Jason Giambi hit his 12th career grand slam, Jorge Posada added a solo homer and New York won its sixth straight. Phil Hughes (3-3) pitched six solid innings to win for the first time since Aug. 10.

The Yankees (82-62) have won 10 of 13 to move a season-high 20 games over .500. They lead the wild-card race by four games over Detroit.

Rangers 13, Tigers 6, 1st game

Tigers 4, Rangers 1, 2nd game

At Detroit, rookie Jair Jurrjens (2-1) came off the disabled list and allowed one run over five innings to help the Tigers salvage a split of the day-night doubleheader. Detroit is 6 1/2 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.

Marlon Byrd hit two of Texas' seven homers in the opener to back six shutout innings by Vicente Padilla (6-9). The loss in the nightcap ended the Rangers' season-best winning streak at six games, but they have won 13 of 16.

Indians 8, White Sox 3

At Chicago, Paul Byrd (15-6) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings and Travis Hafner had three RBIs for surging Cleveland, which has won 15 of 18. Ryan Garko hit his 18th homer.

Twins 6, Royals 3

At Kansas City, Mo., Scott Baker (9-7) beat the Royals for the third time this season, extending their losing streak to seven games. Joe Nathan earned his 32nd save.

Alex Gordon went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a walk for the Royals, who stranded 13 runners and equaled their longest losing streak of the season.

Athletics 7, Mariners 4

At Seattle, Mark Ellis tied a career high with four hits and Oakland tagged Jarrod Washburn (9-14). The free-falling Mariners lost manager John McLaren during a heated argument, then lost for the 15th time in 17 games. Seattle dropped 6 1/2 behind New York in the wild-card race.