for this game

Guerrero homers twice as Angels top Athletics

Aug 3, 2007 - 6:36 AM By Tom Kent PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Vladimir Guerrero ended his drought with a bang.

Guerrero belted two home runs and drove in four runs as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim posted a 6-4 triumph over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

Guerrero entered with a career-worst home run drought of 125 at-bats that spanned 30 games, dating back to June 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After hitting seven shots in April, he had managed just seven prior to Thursday.

"I don't think Vlad was overly concerned," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I know we certainly weren't. But for what we're going to need this second half, for whatever games are remaining, obviously Vlad driving the ball is important. It came at a good time tonight."

The dubious streak came to an end in the fourth inning, as Guerrero swatted a solo shot to left field off Oakland starter Chad Gaudin for a 1-0 edge. It was just his third homer in 50 games.

"It was a nice feeling," Guerrero said through an interpreter. "Basically, it's a new month and I'm going to leave behind whatever is behind. I've had to answer a lot of questions about home runs, but they came tonight. They came with a win, so it's even better."

With one out in the fifth and the contest tied at 1-1, Reggie Willits and Chone Figgins singled. Following a forceout by Orlando Cabrera, the stage was set for Guerrero's first multi-homer effort of the season.

The slugger deposited a 1-0 offering from Gaudin deep into the left-center field seats for his 16th blast of the campaign, giving the Angels a 4-1 advantage.

"I stayed with the same approach," Guerrero said. "Nothing new, no adjustments. The difference is that I was able to get more lift, more carry. I didn't go with the mentality that I needed to change anything overall. If I start looking for home runs, it's going to be tougher to hit home runs."

"The guy has done it time and time again," Gaudin said. "It was a good pitch, the right pitch. It was just a freak."

Gaudin entered having allowed only eight home runs in 131 innings this season, the third-lowest mark in the American League. Of the 10 homers he has now surrendered, three have been hit by Guerrero.

Garret Anderson added an RBI double in the seventh and Willits plated a run with a groundout an inning later to give the Angels a 6-2 bulge.

Donnie Murphy made things interesting with a two-out, two-run homer off Darren Oliver in the bottom of the ninth, but Francisco Rodriguez came on to strike out rookie Travis Buck and notch his 26th save in 29 opportunities.

Guerrero's power surge helped Joe Saunders (5-0) remain unbeaten this season. Recalled from Class AAA Salt Lake on July 22 for his fourth stint with Anaheim this year, the lefthander yielded two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three.

"I just went out and told myself to get deep into the ballgame," Saunders said. "I didn't get that deep, but I gave us a quality start and a chance to win the game."

"I think Joe's picking up where he left off last year," Scioscia said. "You talk about getting to the big leagues and making those footprints. He's making a statement that he's got the opportunity and he's bringing his game into the major leagues."

Gaudin (8-7), who was a hard-luck loser after tossing his first career complete game in Saturday's 4-3 loss to Seattle, allowed five runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings. The 24-year-old righthander, who has lost four straight decisions, struck out a pair.

"I thought I gave us a chance to win," Gaudin said. "A couple of (bad) pitches, that was it."

In the fourth, Mark Ellis belted a 2-0 pitch from Saunders over the left-center field wall to even the game at 1-1. It was Ellis' career-high 14th homer of the campaign.

With the loss, Oakland (51-58) fell a season-high 13 games behind first-place Anaheim (63-44) in the American League West Division. It is the Athletics' largest deficit since they finished the 1998 season 14 games behind the Seattle Mariners.








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

    BATTERIES: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS, JUSTIN SPEIER (7TH), DARREN OLIVER (9TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND JEFF MATHIS
    OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, ANDREW BROWN (7TH), JOE KENNEDY
    (8TH), K

    Aug 3 12:59 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DONNIE MURPHY (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF DARREN OLIVER SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 6, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: T BUCK (.282, 1-FOR-4)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 3 12:56 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY REGGIE WILLITS SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MATHIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 6
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C FIGGINS (.337, 2-FOR-3, BB)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 3 12:28 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GARRET ANDERSON SCORED ORLANDO CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ANDERSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.276, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 3 12:10 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK SWISHER SCORED DONNIE MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N SWISHER ON FIRST, T BUCK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M PIAZZA (.301, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 2 11:34 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO (16) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF CHAD GAUDIN SCORED REGGIE WILLITS AND ORLANDO
    CABRERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4, OAKLAND 1
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.288, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 2 11:23 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK ELLIS (14) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF JOE SAUNDERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1, OAKLAND 1
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.242, 1-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 2 11:07 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO (15) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF CHAD GAUDIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1, OAKLAND 0
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.290, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. AthleticsAug 2 10:58 PM