ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Adam Eaton's start lasted 18 pitches.
Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero hit three-run homers -- one before and one after Eaton's first-inning ejection -- and Joe Saunders allowed three harmless singles over seven scoreless innings to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Texas Rangers 9-1 Sunday.
Eaton (1-2) retired only two of five batters before plate umpire Rob Drake ejected him for throwing a 90 mph fastball behind Rivera -- one pitch after Anderson's 10th homer of the season.
"Rivera's obviously been very comfortable up there for the past month, so I wanted to get him off the plate with a two-seamer and I threw it out of the side of my hand," Eaton said. "(Drake) assumed that I was throwing at Rivera, but I wasn't. I've thrown at one guy my whole career. That was in A-ball -- and that was from the manager's mouth. So for him to say he knew what I was doing was a wrong assumption.
"There was no intent to hit him on purpose," Eaton added. "I was definitely surprised when he ejected me, but I understand why. It didn't look very good at all. It put a huge amount of pressure on the bullpen after they went five innings yesterday, so I was more upset about that than I was about getting tossed."
Drake, who grabbed Rivera after he made a move toward the mound, said he had no choice regarding Eaton.
"It was blatant disregard. ... He didn't care that everybody in the ballpark knew that he threw at him," Drake said. "I've seen this a million times -- a first-inning home run, and the next pitch is 10 feet behind the guy. For me, it was a no-brainer. The only concern that I had was making sure that Rivera didn't go out to the mound."
Eaton made his third start after almost four months on the disabled list because of a strained middle finger that required surgery on April 4. Manager Buck Showalter said that had nothing to do with the errant pitch, and appeared more irritated at Eaton than Drake.
"I certainly understand what it looked like," Showalter said. "Umpires have a tough job. They're trying to judge intent. In that situation, You don't want to even create any doubt in the umpire's mind. It took some wind out of our sails, obviously. You hate to lose your pitcher in the first inning. We were trying to win a baseball game, and Adam being out of it doesn't help our chances. He's been around long enough to know that we need him to pitch."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was noncommittal on the subject.
"Only one guy knows if it was intentional or not, but the ball was behind Juan," Scioscia said. "If it was just a loss of command, it was an unfortunate time. After a home run, when you throw behind a guy, you're sending an obvious message."
Josh Rupe relieved Eaton and retired Rivera on a groundout. But the rookie gave up four consecutive one-out singles in the second inning, including run-scoring hits by Jose Molina and Maicer Izturis. Guerrero capped the five-run inning with his 23rd homer. The 2003 AL MVP is batting .438 with 16 homers and 38 RBI in 46 games against Texas.
Saunders (3-0) finished with six strikeouts and two walks after he was staked to a quick 8-0 lead. The left-hander made his third start this season and second in place of AL Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon, who has a partially torn rotator cuff. Kevin Gregg followed with two-hit relief, allowing a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to Gerald Laird.
"I mixed my pitches up well," Saunders said. "It makes things easier if you have an 8-0 lead. To have support like that was key."
Howie Kendrick singled in the Angels' fifth to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest by any rookie this season. He came all the way around to score with help from two errors by second baseman Ian Kinsler, who booted Chone Figgins' grounder and then threw the ball past shortstop Michael Young.
- Rangers RHP Kip Wells was sent back to Texas to see team physician Dr. Keith Meister about the soreness in his pitching shoulder that forced him out of his previous start. RHP Edinson Volquez will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma to fill in for Wells.
- The Angels, in the midst of a 24-game stretch without a day off, will be in Chicago on Monday night to make up a May 11 rainout. Their starting pitcher will be Kelvim Escobar, who hit A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch the last time he faced the defending World Series champs on April 29 at Anaheim.
- Anderson's homer was only the second allowed by Eaton in 55 appearances. He was acquired in a six-player trade with San Diego in January.
- Anderson was 7-for-16 in the series with two homers and eight RBI.
- The Rangers are 10-18 in day games, including Saturday's 10-3 loss.