Angels 10, Devil Rays 7

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Anaheim Angels are heading to New York with some momentum.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a three-run homer and Josh Paul added a grand slam to lead the Angels over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-7 Thursday.

Darin Erstad hit a two-run shot for the Angels, who took two of three at Tampa Bay and have won 10 of 14 overall. Anaheim trails AL West-leading Oakland by 1 1/2 games and is one game behind wild-card leaders Boston and Texas.

“We need to take care of our business and let all that stuff work itself out,” Paul said.

It was Paul’s second homer of the season. The other, which came on July 24, was his first in the major leagues since Sept. 8, 2001.

Anaheim opens a three-game series against the AL East-leading Yankees on Friday night.

“It’s always fun to play in Yankee Stadium,” Paul said. “It gets me up. I really like playing there.”

The victory was the 400th for Mike Scioscia (400-369) as Angels manager.

“I didn’t win one of them … those guys (the players) did,” Scioscia said.

Winning pitcher John Lackey (10-10) took a shutout into the seventh. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander threw a three-hitter in Anaheim’s 1-0 win May 7 in his other start against Tampa Bay this season.

Francisco Rodriguez got five outs for his 10th save.

Jose Cruz Jr. and Carl Crawford homered for the Devil Rays, who have dropped eight of nine. Rob Bell (5-7) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings.

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella declined to speak with reporters after the game.

Paul made it 8-0 with his first career slam off reliever Travis Harper during a five-run seventh.

Guerrero put the Angels up 3-0 with his second homer in three days, a three-run shot in the third. He went 1-for-4, making him 12-for-37 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his career at Tropicana Field.

“He’s fun to watch play, but he’s tough to get out,” Bell said.

Crawford stole second in the sixth for his 50th stolen base of the season. He became the seventh active player to steal 50 bases in each of his first two full major league seasons.

Crawford was thrown out attempting to stretch a double into a triple leading off the first. Second baseman Adam Kennedy relayed right fielder Guerrero’s throw to third to retire Crawford.

Guerrero has 11 assists this season and 95 in his career.

Anaheim went up 4-0 in the seventh when Kennedy walked with the bases loaded and two outs on a nine-pitch at-bat. Paul followed with his grand slam.

“A.K. had such a great at-bat right before me,” Paul said. “I was fortunate I got a good fastball to hit.”

Tampa Bay scored four times in the bottom half on Cruz’s solo shot and a three-run drive by Crawford to get to 8-4.

Erstad hit a two-run homer off Harper in the eighth to extend Anaheim’s lead to 10-4.

The Devil Rays scored twice in the bottom half to pull to 10-6. Julio Lugo and Geoff Blum each had an RBI single off Scot Shields.

Shields departed after striking out Brook Fordyce with the bases loaded for the first out of the inning. Rodriguez then retired Crawford on a fly ball and struck out B.J. Upton to preserve the Angels’ four-run lead.

“I was trying to go for a strikeout,” Rodriguez said.

Aubrey Huff doubled in the ninth and scored on Tino Martinez’s RBI groundout.


The Devil Rays signed 1B-DH Randall Simon, released last Saturday by Pittsburgh. … Upton went 0-for-4, ending his nine-game hitting streak. The 19-year-old shortstop was looking to become the first teenager since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 to have a streak of 10 or more games. … Angels LF Jose Guillen is hitless in 12 at-bats, including 0-for-4 Thursday. … Huff went 0-for-3 against Lackey and is hitless in 17 at-bats against the right-hander. … Anaheim won six of seven against Tampa Bay this season. … Blum singled in all four at-bats. … The loss gave Piniella (1,437-1,300) his 1,300th defeat in his managerial career.

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