for this game

Angels win again, stay alive in AL West race

Sep 26, 2006 - 4:58 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue to hone their rendition of the classic song "Stayin' Alive." But instead of the Gibb brothers, the lead singers are Vladimir Guerrero, Juan Rivera and Joe Saunders.

Guerrero homered twice, Rivera drove in two runs and Saunders worked seven strong innings as the Angels posted an 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Anaheim (85-71) has won three straight games and 14 of 20 to barely remain alive in the American League West Division. The Angels now sit five games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics (90-66) with only six contests remaining.

If Anaheim somehow can avoid elimination over the next two days, it will have a chance to make its move this weekend during a season-ending four-game series vs. Oakland.

"We just have to keep on winning ballgames and see what happens when the dust settles," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

After homering in Sunday's 7-1 triumph in Oakland, Guerrero added two more blasts in this one to record his 29th career multi-homer game. He launched a two-run home run off Edinson Volquez (1-6) in the first inning and capped the scoring with a solo shot off Frank Francisco in the eighth.

"I'm just trying to do whatever I can do to help the team win," Guerrero said through an interpreter. "Every game is very important for us."

Rivera matched a career high with four hits, including RBI singles in the fourth and sixth inning. He is batting a sparkling .571 (12-for-21) with six RBI over his last five games.

"Juan has been playing really well for us all year, and we need his bat to help carry us the rest of the way," Scioscia said.

The offense made for a relaxing night for Saunders (7-3), who yielded two runs and six hits, including five singles. The rookie lefthander struck out four and did not walk a batter in improving to 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA over his last five starts.

"I knew that this was one of my biggest starts of the year and I just wanted to keep our team in the game," Saunders said. "I felt like I pitched a good game against a good hitting team like Texas."

Brendan Donnelly worked two-thirds of an inning and Scot Shields recorded the final four outs for his second save.

Carlos Lee had an RBI double among two hits for the Rangers, who have lost three straight games.

"We will keep on coming out and playing hard and maybe try to spoil (the Angels') playoff chances," Texas shortstop Michael Young said.

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