Cleveland (81-59) at Los Angeles (83-57)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 7, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Angels didn’t miss a beat without Vladimir Guerrero in their lineup for one night, thanks in part to Garret Anderson’s continued surge.

Anderson looks to extend his club record of games with at least one RBI for the Angels, who will likely again be without Guerrero on Friday night when they continue their four-game series with the Cleveland Indians.

Guerrero was a late scratch from the Angels’ lineup before a 10-3 win on Thursday because of inflammation in his right triceps. He underwent an MRI and it’s unlikely he’ll see action Friday.

“He’ll probably need a day or two to let it relax and calm down,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the team’s official Web site. “We had an X-ray, and everything looks sound.”

Guerrero, third in the AL with 110 RBIs, wasn’t needed as the Angels used a 15-hit attack to win the opener. Anderson spearheaded it by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs to set a club record by driving in a run for the 11th straight game.

The three-time All-Star is 19-for-40 (.475) with six homers and 21 RBIs during his streak.

“I’ve made my living driving in runs and not worrying about hitting home runs,” said Anderson, who has hit nine of his 15 homers in the last 16 games. “I like to make it tough on the pitcher, knowing that I can hit a home run. But at the same time, I’ll take my hits, too.”

Los Angeles (83-57) increased its lead in the AL West to eight games over Seattle - the largest of any division leader. Cleveland (81-59) had a five-game road winning streak snapped, and had its lead in the AL Central cut to six games over Detroit.

This series, however, has more ramifications than just the division races. The Angels moved two games ahead of the Indians for the second-best record among AL division leaders, which determines home-field advantage for the division series.

Chone Figgins, batting a major league-best .388 since the All-Star break, returned to action when he pinch-ran in the eighth inning. He had not played since Aug. 21 due to a bone bruise in his left hand, but has indicated he may return to the lineup in this series.

Reggie Willits took Guerrero’s place in right field Thursday and went 2-for-4 batting in the No. 9 spot.

Los Angeles starter John Lackey (16-8, 3.26 ERA) looks to join Josh Beckett of Boston and Chien-Ming Wang of the New York Yankees as the only 17-game winners in the majors. He wasn’t able to earn his 17th win on Sunday when he gave up four runs over 6 2-3 innings and received no decision in an 8-7 loss to Texas.

Lackey is facing the Indians for the first time this year after going 1-2 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against them last season. He’s 3-5 with a 3.03 ERA in nine career starts versus Cleveland.

Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta is 7-for-14 in his career against Lackey.

Cleveland lost for only the second time in 13 games Thursday as leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore went 0-for-4. Sizemore is in a 3-for-27 slump over his last seven games, and is 5-for-23 in seven games against the Angels this year.

The Indians will start Jake Westbrook (5-8, 4.43), who gave up four runs and a season-high 11 hits over five innings in an 8-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. He had been 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his previous six outings.

“It was just not a good day,” Westbrook said. “I didn’t pitch well and they hit a few that found holes.”

The right-hander is 2-5 with a 3.24 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels. Westbrook allowed three runs and five hits over six innings in a 4-1 loss on April 11 in his only start this year against Los Angeles.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Westbrook StL vs. J. Lackey StL
6-9 Record 19-9
4.32 ERA 3.01
93 K 179
55 BB 52
1.41 WHIP 1.21


Friday, Sep 7