SEATTLE -- Vladimir Guerrero is back in top form, and his team is back in sole possession of first place.
Guerrero hit his fifth homer in five games, a three-run shot in a five-run fifth inning, and Darin Erstad drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Combined with Oakland's loss to Minnesota, the Angels lead the AL West by one game.
Guerrero was 8-for-14 in the series with three home runs and seven RBI. For the season, he has 17 hits in 48 at-bats (.354) with seven home runs and 13 RBI against the Mariners.
"This is why he's incredible. This was the way we've seen him all the time, with the exception of July. He's a special player," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's the type of player we're not only privileged to have on our team, but privileged to have in baseball."
After uncharacteristically struggling to a .208 average in July, Guerrero is hitting .455 (20-for-44) with seven home runs and 23 RBI in 12 games this month. The Angels have won eight of those games.
The Angels fell out of first place Thursday in Oakland when reliever Francisco Rodriguez dropped a throw back from the catcher, allowing the winning run to score with two outs in the ninth. Another sloppy play by a reliever nearly cost them Sunday.
With two outs and the Mariners down 6-5, Ichiro Suzuki stole second on a called pitchout. However, catcher Bengie Molina, with plenty of time, threw the ball into center field. Brendan Donnelly (8-3) then threw a wild pitch and Suzuki advanced to third. He scored the tying run when Donnelly botched a throw to first on Raul Ibanez's one-hopper back to the mound.
"I just picked it up, didn't move my feet and forgot everything I ever learned in my life," Donnelly said.
Scioscia added: "I don't know if I've seen that much (unusual plays) in one week. You never say never, though. We're certainly going to pay attention to that stuff."
George Sherrill (1-1) hit Adam Kennedy with a pitch to open the eighth. After Chone Figgins' sacrifice bunt and an out, Erstad worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a hard grounder just to the left of shortstop Yaniesky Betancourt. Kennedy scored without a throw to the plate.
"I'm disappointed in the bullpen today and I'm disappointed in the way we pitched today, period," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said.
Rodriguez finished for his 27th save in 31 chances.
Angels starter John Lackey, who allowed no runs and five hits Tuesday in his last start, gave up four hits and three runs to the first five batters. Suzuki doubled, took third on Willie Bloomquist's single and scored on a single by Raul Ibanez.
Adrian Beltre's two-run double made it 3-0.
Casey Kotchman got one back in the fourth with his fourth homer for the Angels, who have won eight straight games over the Mariners in Seattle, dating to last Sept. 16.
Kennedy open the Angels' five-run fifth with a single. Figgins walked and Orlando Cabrera singled to load the bases. Erstad hit a sacrifice fly to right and Gil Meche -- who had already thrown 92 pitches in 4 1/3 innings -- was replaced by Julio Mateo.
Mateo allowed Guererro's 26th homer -- the 299th of his career -- and Molina followed with a solo shot for a 6-3 lead.
"It's the same the last three or four starts," said Meche, who has not won since July 17. "It's location and left-handers -- both of them -- I'm not doing very well."
The Mariners had the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the eighth when third baseman Figgins' throw beat Richie Sexson on Betancourt's grounder.
"I thought that ball was behind him," Donnelly said of Figgins' stop. "Somehow he came up with it and made an outstanding throw home."
The Angels had three home runs in a game for the seventh time this season. They also had three home runs in Friday's 9-4 victory.