for this game

Kotchman homers, bullpen thrives as Angels take opener

Apr 3, 2007 - 6:03 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Vladimir Guerrero and Casey Kotchman took advantage of their chances. The same could not be said of the Texas Rangers.

Guerrero drove in a run and Kotchman homered to back five shaky innings from John Lackey as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the Rangers, 4-1, in the season opener for both games.

Four relievers combined for four innings of one-hit scoreless relief for the Angels, who won their fourth consecutive opener.

"Our bullpen continued where they left off last year, which was doing good jobs of getting outs and getting to Franky (Rodriguez)," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Guerrero doubled home Gary Matthews Jr. in the first inning and Kotchman homered to center off Kevin Millwood in the second to forge a 2-0 edge.

"Vlad did a good job getting us on the board early in the game," Kotchman said. "I got a pitch I was looking for off Millwood and got the big part of the bat on the ball."

Guerrero finished 1-for-3 to improve to .451 (92-214) in 55 lifetime games against Texas with 20 homers and 46 RBI.

Meanwhile, the Rangers were squandering chance after chance.

Texas had runners on first and second with none out in the first and sixth innings and did not score, and failed to score after placing runners at second and third with one out in the second. The Rangers left the bases loaded in the third and stranded two more runners in fifth.

"The key to the game is to score when runners are on base, but we had a lot of two-out situtations where we needed to get a big hit," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Two-out opportunities are hard to get at this level, but if we keep getting guys on base like today then I have no doubt we will drive runs in."

Matthews, who signed a five-year, $50 million contract in December, robbed his former team when he made a running catch up against the wall in right-center field against Mark Teixeira to end the first inning.

"That's why we got him in the offseason," Lackey said. "He made two great catches to help me get out of trouble in some innings." Sammy Sosa, who started in right field and went 0-for-3 with a walk, grounded out with runners on the corners in the fifth.

Lackey (1-0) allowed four hits and four walks in five innings but escaped allowing just one unearned run - a solo homer by Ian Kinsler in the third.

"It was a grind for me tonight," Lackey said. "I felt like I had great stuff, but my location wasn't their. I made big pitches when I had to, and I did enough to get a tough win."

After the righthander departed, three relievers bridged the gap to Francisco Rodriguez, who pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.

Millwood (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. Hank Blalock had two hits for Texas, which has lost five of their last six openers.

Anaheim manufactured a run in the fifth, when Mike Napoli singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by Maicer Izturis.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
    LA ANGELS 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 4 9 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, RON MAHAY (6TH), MIKE WOOD (6TH) AND GERALD
    LAIRD
    LAA - JOHN LACKEY, DARREN OLIVER (6TH), JUSTIN SPEIER
    (6TH), SCOT SHIELDS (8TH), FRANCISCO

    Apr 3 12:53 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHEA HILLENBRAND SCORED GARRET ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S HILLENBRAND ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    LA ANGELS 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.667, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Rangers vs. AngelsApr 3 12:40 AM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
    LA ANGELS 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 6 2 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - MIKE WOOD
    LAA - JUSTIN SPEIER

    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: M NAPOLI (.500, 1-FOR-2)
    M IZTURIS (.500, 1-FOR-2, RBI)
    G MATTHEWS JR (.000, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Apr 3 12:20 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED MIKE NAPOLI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    LA ANGELS 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rangers vs. AngelsApr 2 11:44 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 1 2 0
    LA ANGELS 1 1 0 0 2 3 2 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD
    LAA - JOHN LACKEY

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: K LOFTON (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB)
    F CATALANOTTO (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB)
    M YOUNG (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 2 11:25 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY IAN KINSLER (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JOHN LACKEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: K LOFTON (.000, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers vs. AngelsApr 2 10:48 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY KOTCHMAN (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF KEVIN MILLWOOD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Apr 2 10:40 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY KOTCHMAN (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF KEVIN MILLWOOD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AngelsApr 2 10:40 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 1 0
    LA ANGELS 1 1 1 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD
    LAA - JOHN LACKEY

    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    H KENDRICK (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    M NAPOLI (.000, 0 HR, 0 R

    Apr 2 10:35 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO SCORED GARY MATTHEWS JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V GUERRERO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    LA ANGELS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AngelsApr 2 10:23 PM