Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Baseball

Angels hold off Rangers 6-5 in Guerrero's return

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Bobby Abreu hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels overcame Vladimir Guerrero's homer and three RBIs in his return to Angel Stadium for a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Abreu delivered with a full count and two outs in the sixth for the second-place Angels, who ended Texas' eight-game road winning streak one shy of the franchise record despite a big game from Guerrero, who wasn't re-signed by Los Angeles last winter after six seasons.

Guerrero singled after getting a standing ovation in the first inning. He drove in a run with a third-inning sacrifice fly before an impressive two-run homer to center in the seventh off reliever Kevin Jepsen.

Mike Napoli homered and Joel Pineiro (8-6) allowed eight hits over six innings to win his fifth straight start for the Angels, who improved to 18-8 in June. Even after starting the season with two months of near-.500 play, the three-time AL West champion Angels are 3½ games behind division-leading Texas, which had the best record in team history through its first 75 games.

Ian Kinsler homered for the Rangers, whose road winning streak ended just short of the club record set in 1977. With a 20-6 mark in June, Texas must win Wednesday to set a new franchise mark for victories in a month.

Josh Hamilton went 1 for 5, but his third-inning single was his 48th hit of June, setting a franchise record for hits in a month and extending his hitting streak to 22 games.

While Pineiro set a personal best with five wins in June, his bullpen nearly gave it away. Jepsen and Fernando Rodney both barely escaped big trouble, but closer Brian Fuentes struck out Guerrero on the way to his 14th save, including eight in a row.

After exchanging pregame greetings and jokes with his former teammates in batting practice, Guerrero got the standing ovation he acknowledged craving when he stood at the plate for the first time. The 2004 AL MVP, who had 616 RBIs during six seasons with the Angels, stepped out of the box and acknowledged the ovation with a wave of his batting helmet.

The Rangers went ahead 3-2 in the fifth when Michael Young scored on Hamilton's bases-loaded grounder, but the Angels tied it for the third time on Jeff Mathis' RBI single off Andrus' glove in the sixth. Kevin Frandsen helped himself score by screening Andrus like a hockey goalie while leaping over Mathis' hard grounder at the Texas shortstop.

Scott Feldman (5-7) yielded nine hits and five runs but pitched well until the sixth, when he and reliever Darren Oliver couldn't escape the Rangers' most serious jam.

Oliver also returned to Anaheim after spending the past three seasons with the Angels, but got only boos when he came out of the bullpen. Oliver then walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases before Abreu smacked a double down the right field line.

Guerrero trimmed Los Angeles' lead to one run, and the Rangers quickly got two runners on in the eighth against Rodney, but Torii Hunter ran down Julio Borbon's long fly to center, and Young grounded out with the bases loaded.

NOTES: Texas RHP Omar Beltre will make his major league debut Wednesday night, and RHP Colby Lewis will start Friday for the Rangers at home against the White Sox. ... Nelson Cruz threw out Abreu at the plate in the third inning when third base coach Dino Ebel sent Abreu home from second on Hideki Matsui's single. Two innings earlier, Erick Aybar alertly ran through Ebel's stop sign to score the Angels' first run. ... Los Angeles began the second week of a season-high 12-game homestand. The Angels will host the All-Star game in two weeks.