Oakland (7-4) at Los Angeles (7-5)

Fair Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 18, 2004
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Vladimir Guerrero is settling in nicely in Anaheim.

The outfielder will look to continue his solid start with his new team when the Angels conclude their three-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics.

A career .323 hitter who averaged 37 homers a year over the past six years with Montreal, Guerrero was the biggest catch of the winter as he signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Angels.

So far, he’s been worth the money.

The right fielder hit his fourth home run of the season during the Angels’ 6-3 win Saturday, and is now batting .292. The 28-year-old has hit safely in nine of 12 games with his new team.

The presence of one of the game’s best offensive players is going to make the Angels that much more difficult to pitch to. Saturday’s game marked the first time since spring training they had their entire projected lineup intact.

Catcher Bengie Molina missed the first seven games of the regular season because of a strained left hamstring, and when he came back on Tuesday, third baseman Troy Glaus was sitting out because of the same problem. Glaus returned Saturday and provided an insurance two-run homer in the ninth.

“We’ve talked about our depth, and we had some guys out of the lineup early and still created some offense and did some of the things we need to do,” said manager Mike Scioscia, referring to the Angels’ team batting average of .280 and 5.7 runs per game coming into Saturday.

“It could be worse. But it’s nice to get that continuity going again and get all nine together.”

Despite their loss Saturday, the A’s are off to a solid start thanks to, among others, Jermaine Dye and Marco Scutaro.

In his 10th major league season, Dye has been plagued throughout his career by injuries, playing in more than 100 games just three times. However, he has already shown this season what he’s capable of when healthy, with six homers and 14 RBIs.

With two more hits on Saturday, Scutaro raised his average to .378.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Zito Oak vs. K. Escobar Mil
11-11 Record 11-12
4.48 ERA 3.93
163 K 191
81 BB 76
1.39 WHIP 1.29