LOS ANGELES (AP)—While the Angels won the opening game in the much-hyped meeting between the two teams using Los Angeles in their names, their victory proved costly when AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero left with an injury that left his team worried.
Jarrod Washburn pitched seven sharp innings in the Angels’ 9-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night—the Angels’ first regular-season game in Los Angeles since renaming themselves the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Guerrero got hurt in the fifth while sliding on his stomach to try to avoid a tag by catcher Jason Phillips. The right fielder was attempting to score from first on a double by Steve Finley, and was called out by umpire Paul Emmel to end the inning.
“It’s tough to see something like that happen when he’s playing the game hard,” said Chone Figgins, who drove in three runs with a second-inning triple off Scott Erickson. “We run the bases hard and we’re always aggressive.”
Preliminary X-rays confirmed the jam, and Guerrero’s arm was placed in a sling. He was to have a full set of X-rays Saturday in Anaheim before being re-evaluated before Saturday night’s game in Los Angeles.
“We’re concerned, to say the least,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We need to see exactly what happened and how he feels.”
Guerrero went 0-for-3 and was replaced by Juan Rivera, who hit a grand slam in the ninth.
The rest of the Angels were clearly worried about Guerrero.
“We don’t want to be without him for any length of time,” Washburn said. “He’d be a huge loss. Hopefully, it’s minimal damage.”
Washburn left the game because of tightness in his left forearm, but he said it was nothing serious.
The Angels downplayed the first of six meetings this season against a team with the same city in its name.
“Just another game against the Dodgers,” Washburn said. “It didn’t feel any different to me because of the stupid L.A.-L.A. thing.”
Figgins scored on a sacrifice fly by Darin Erstad, making it 4-0. Juan Rivera, who replaced Guerrero in right field, hit a grand slam in the ninth.
“It’s a game to us,” Figgins said. “It’s not our job to worry about (names).”
The Dodgers never acknowledged the Angels’ name change. The public address announcer introduced the visitors as the Angels of Anaheim, and the main scoreboard listed them as the Angels. The outfield scoreboard displayed the team’s symbol, a giant `A’ with a halo around it, when the Angels were at-bat.
“Just another game,” Scioscia said, echoing Washburn. “It’s much ado about nothing. We’re the Angels and they’re the Dodgers.”
Washburn (3-2) scattered five hits, struck out one and walked one for his first win since May 2, when he beat Seattle 5-0. The left-hander allowed just two runners to reach second base.
The Angels backed Washburn with solid defense in the seventh. With two outs, Olmedo Saenz hit a ground-rule double and Jason Phillips singled to left—but DaVanon threw out Saenz at the plate.
“That’s one of the best throws I’ve ever seen,” said Washburn, who high-fived DaVanon on the field.
Erickson walked Washburn to load the bases in the second before Figgins tripled.
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy was noncommittal about Erickson’s status after the right-hander turned in another poor performance.
“That’s not something that I dwell on right after a game is over,” he said. “Instead of sitting here and blurting out something that I would regret when I wake up tomorrow, it’s better served for me to just think my way through this, huddle up with some of my staff and then organize a plan of attack.”
Erickson (1-4) gave up four runs, four hits and four walks in 1 2-3 innings, his shortest outing this season.
“For the most part, I was effective when I threw it over the plate, until the guy hit the triple, which wasn’t a bad pitch,” he said. “I realized what I was doing wrong, and it’s easy to correct. You watch tape and you see yourself flying open a little bit. Sometimes you just don’t figure it out when you’re in the heat of battle and don’t notice the little things you might be doing wrong.”
Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis had two singles for his 22nd multihit game of the season, which leads the majors. It was his fifth straight game with at least two hits. … The crowd of 54,543 was the Dodgers’ eighth sellout this season. … The Angels have won four of their last five games at Dodger Stadium. … Antonio Villaraigosa, the first Hispanic elected Los Angeles mayor since 1872, threw out the first pitch, bumping boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, who had been scheduled. Chavez will get his turn on Sunday. … Cuban-born INF-OF Kendry Morales, who signed with the Angels in December, will begin his professional career Saturday at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.