Guerrero Leads Angels Past Rangers

Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 7:40 am
By: News On 6

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Texas manager Ron Washington theorized before the game about ways to keep Los Angeles Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero in check.

After Guerrero went 4-for-4 on Tuesday night, including a solo homer and a pair of RBI singles in the Angels' 8-4 victory over the Rangers, it was back to the drawing board.

``We've got to figure out a way to get this guy out. If I get an opportunity not to pitch to him, I won't pitch to him,'' Washington said. ``I tried to pitch around him, and it didn't work.

``I mean, this guy's a monster. I can't walk him every at-bat. We tried to throw it out of the zone, he hit it.''

Guerrero certainly has been a monster at the plate against the Rangers. His first time up against them this year, he singled home the Angels' initial run of the season in their 4-1 victory in Monday's opener.

He's hitting .442, with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and 49 runs in 56 career games against Texas.

Rangers starter Vicente Padilla didn't particularly feel picked on.

``Guerrero is hitting everybody,'' Padilla said through a translator. ``I made a good pitch to him in the first inning, but he broke his bat and still got a single.''

Added Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia: ``He does that to everybody. He's just a special offensive player.''

In other AL games, it was: Minnesota 3, Baltimore 2; and Seattle 8, Oakland 4.

Washington is off to an 0-2 start in his first major league managing job, and Guerrero is a big reason.

``You're not going to stop him completely,'' he said. ``The best thing is when he's in situation where he can hurt you, don't pitch to him. All I can say is, get him off the plate and then throw offspeed down and away where he can't get the big part of the bat on it.''

Padilla's first pitch to the Angels' slugger in the opening inning was a fastball inside that caused Guerrero to whirl away from the plate. A couple of pitches later, he singled in the Angels' first run.

``He got his toehold and didn't move again,'' said Washington, who had Guerrero intentionally walked with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth.

Guerrero hit a towering shot just outside the left-field foul pole in the third inning, then drove another pitch from Padilla over the fence in straightaway center for his first homer of the year.

Kelvim Escobar (1-0) went 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs and three hits. One of them was Ian Kinsler's second solo homer in as many games. The Angels right-hander walked five and struck out four.

Justin Speier, signed by the Angels as a free agent during the offseason, threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings, and Scot Shields closed with two perfect innings.

The Angels pounded Padilla (0-1) for six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.

The Rangers' Sammy Sosa, back after taking a year off, went 1-for-4, with two strikeouts _ including taking a big cut and missing on a chest-high, 3-2 slider for the final out of the fifth inning as Escobar pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.

``That was exciting,'' Escobar said. ``The fans got very loud. That was the biggest out of the game for me.''

Gary Matthews Jr. went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice against his former teammates in his second game for Los Angeles. He went 1-for-3 and scored a run in his Angels debut.

Twins 3, Orioles 2

Jason Bartlett's broken-bat single drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and Minnesota rallied to beat Daniel Cabrera and visiting Baltimore.

Cabrera (0-1) struck out nine and gave up six hits and three runs in seven innings while walking four. He lost a 2-0 lead that Baltimore built on Melvin Mora's home run and Aubrey Huff's RBI single in the third.

Pat Neshek (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory, and Joe Nathan earned his second save after three Minnesota relievers worked out of a two-on jam in the eighth.

Mariners 8, Athletics 4

SEATTLE (AP) _ Richie Sexson hit his second homer in two games and Yuniesky Betancourt's tiebreaking, two-run shot in the seventh led Seattle past Oakland.

At 2-0, the Mariners are off to their best start since Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson were stars on the 1996 team.

The Mariners, who have finished last in the AL West for three consecutive years, have won as many games in two days against the defending division champions as they did in 19 tries last season.

Betancourt's homer came in a four-run seventh against Kiko Calero (0-1) and Justin Duchscherer.

The Athletics had three hits in six innings off Jarrod Washburn, who left with a 4-2 lead. They got three hits in the seventh off winner Julio Mateo (1-0).

Milton Bradley homered for Oakland.