Angels knock out the White Sox
Guerrero’s return packs HR punch
Now that Vladimir Guerrero is hitting the ball out of the park again, the Los Angeles Angels are downright giddy about how good they might be.
“Oh boy, it’s going to be exciting,’’ said Bobby Abreu, who along with Guerrero, Jeff Mathis, and Erick Aybar went deep in the Angels’ 9-5 victory over the White Sox yesterday in Chicago.
“When the man gets hot, we all want to be on base for him. He’s going to drive in a lot of runs and we’re going to score a lot of runs.’’
The Angels were scoring plenty without Guerrero, going 18-3 while the eight-time All-Star was on the disabled list with calf and hamstring injuries. Coincidentally, after he returned for Tuesday’s series opener, Los Angeles managed only six runs in two losses to the White Sox.
Things changed in a hurry when Guerrero hit John Danks’s first pitch of the third inning for his first home run since July 5. He entered the season with 392 homers but has only five in 187 at-bats this year.
Asked if he was frustrated to have played in only 49 of the team’s 106 games due to two DL stints, he said: “I don’t try to think about it too much because otherwise I would go crazy.’’
The 34-year-old Guerrero, who is limited to DH duties, is in the final year of a six-year, $85 million contract, and his future will be on the line as the season winds down.
“I’ve missed a lot of time so I don’t want to spend time thinking about just me in the next two months,’’ he said. “It’s important . . . but I don’t want to get too caught up thinking about that because we’re a team here.’’
Ervin Santana (4-6) settled down after a rocky start to last six innings for the Angels, but it was their offense that carried them to their AL-leading 32d road victory.
Tigers 7, Orioles 3 - Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer in a four-run second inning and rookie Rick Porcello didn’t give up a hit until the fifth, helping host Detroit win its four-game series with Baltimore and stay atop the AL Central.
The rookie gave up two runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He gave up only one run in his last start after allowing 19 runs in his previous four.
Inge hit a two-run homer one pitch after Magglio Ordonez singled. Ramon Santiago later had a two-out triple and scored on Curtis Granderson’s double. Placido Polanco’s grounder off third base bounced into the outfield for the fourth RBI of the inning.
Phillies 3, Rockies 1 - Cliff Lee pitched seven impressive innings in his home debut and Paul Bako hit a tiebreaking homer, lifting Philadelphia over Colorado.
Lee (2-0) allowed one run and six hits, striking out nine in his first start at Citizens Bank Park since the Phillies acquired him from Cleveland last week.
Jimmy Rollins had three hits and scored two runs, falling a homer short of the cycle. The NL East-leading Phillies took two of three from the Rockies, who are in the thick of the wild-card chase.
Rangers 6, Athletics 4 - Michael Young hit his 18th homer of the season, Tommy Hunter pitched seven solid innings, and visiting Texas got by Oakland.
Hank Blalock added his 21st homer, and David Murphy and Andrew Jones each drove in a run for the Rangers.
Hunter (4-2) gave up three runs - two earned - and three hits with a pair of walks.
Nomar Garciaparra, Rajai Davis, and Scott Hairston each hit RBI doubles for the Athletics, who managed a run off C.J. Wilson in the ninth before he finished for his 14th save.
Indians 2, Twins 1 - Rookie Trevor Crowe hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, helping host Cleveland beat Minnesota.
Crowe’s slicing line drive into the left-center gap off Nick Blackburn (8-6) scored Travis Hafner from second base as the Indians won for the ninth time in 13 games.
Royals 8, Mariners 2 - Bruce Chen won in the major leagues for the first time since 2005 and Billy Butler hit a two-run homer in a five-run first inning as host Kansas City defeated Seattle.
Nationals 12, Marlins 8 - Ryan Zimmerman finished a double short of the cycle and Ronnie Belliard’s tiebreaking single in the eighth helped host Washington rally from a six-run deficit and extend its winning streak to a season-high five straight.
Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 6 - Alex Romero’s two-run double highlighted a five-run 12th inning for visiting Arizona, which rallied for the second straight night to beat Pittsburgh and win its fifth straight.