Guerrero leads Angels to win over Orioles
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The pounding that the Los Angeles Angels inflicted on Garrett Olson only amplified the kind of airtight pitching fellow lefty Chris Waters gave Baltimore less than 24 hours earlier against the AL West leaders.
Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in four runs, Garret Anderson had three hits and two RBIs, and the Angels beat the Orioles 9-4 on Wednesday with basically the same lineup that was held to one hit over eight innings by Olson in his big league debut.
“Pitching is very important. What we saw yesterday showed that if a guy hits his spots, you can get beat at any time. Today they threw a lefty at us again and we went out there and teed off on him,” Torii Hunter said.
Ervin Santana (13-5) allowed four runs and eight hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. The first-time All-Star got as much run support in this outing as he did over his previous four starts combined, including a 5-2 loss at Camden Yards on July 27.
But that was before the Angels acquired their new No. 3 hitter, Mark Teixeira, from the Atlanta Braves. Hitting in front of Guerrero has benefited both of them. But it may be premature to compare the Angels’ one-two punch to what Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz gave the Boston Red Sox before Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers last week.
“We’ve got our own thing going. We don’t want to do the Manny-Papi thing. We’re going to have a Tex-Vlade thing,” Hunter said with a grin. “Having those guys in the lineup makes it so much easier.”
Guerrero highlighted a three-run first with his 20th homer, a two-run shot that followed Teixeira’s two-out single. Hunter walked and came all the way around on Anderson’s double.
“The only thing we’re doing different now than earlier in the year is that we’re getting hits,” Anderson said. “Guys are still doing the same thing, they’re just finding holes now.”
Jeff Mathis made it 4-0 in the second with his ninth homer. Teixeira led off the third with a double into the left-field corner, continued to third when the ball got past rookie Luis Montanez for an error, then scored on a wild pitch. Anderson added an RBI single later in the inning.
“The great thing about us right now is that, on any given night, someone can get the big hit,” Teixeira said. “I don’t have to carry this team. In fact, there’s not one guy on this team that has to carry us.”
Teixeira is 8-for-28 with a grand slam, six RBIs and seven runs scored in his first eight games with the Angels.
“He puts fear in pitchers,” Hunter said. “He swings from both sides of the plate with power and can hit for average. And if you don’t throw a strike, he’s not swinging.”
The Angels tacked on three more runs in the fourth on Guerrero’s two-run single off the right-field fence and Hunter’s sacrifice fly.
“Vlade is a Hall of Famer, and other teams and other pitchers know that,” Hunter said. “I mean, the guy can get on base anytime he wants to. He doesn’t even have to swing, because they’re not giving him anything good to hit. The same pitches he chased and missed early in the season, he’s crushing ‘em now.”
Olson lasted only 2 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and seven hits after throwing 117 pitches over 8 1-3 innings last Friday in a 10-5 win at Seattle.
“I don’t think that took anything out of him,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He just didn’t locate and didn’t have much finish. He had Teixeira with two strikes in the first inning and left him off the hook. Then the pitch to Guerrero looked like it was on a tee.”
Montanez homered on the second pitch he saw in the major leagues, trimming the Angels’ lead to 4-1 in the third. The only other player in Orioles history to homer in his first big league at-bat was relief pitcher Les “Buster” Narum on May 3, 1963.
Nick Markakis hit his 16th homer for Baltimore in the fifth, a three-run shot that narrowed the gap to 9-4. Markakis was 5-for-12 with seven RBIs in the three-game series and is hitting .332 over his last 62 games, raising his average from a season-low .247 to .299.
Orioles CF Jay Payton, getting a chance to play regularly while Adam Jones is on the disabled list with a broken foot, robbed Juan Rivera of a home run in the fifth. … Montanez, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft by the Chicago Cubs, made his big league debut Tuesday night as defensive replacement in the ninth inning. … Guerrero became the fourth player in Angels history to hit 20 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons, joining Anderson, Tim Salmon and Brian Downing. … Angels C Mike Napoli, sidelined since July 6 because of irritation in his right shoulder, was set to conclude his minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night and will be activated Friday for the series opener against the Yankees.
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