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Anaheim at Oakland

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L.A. Angels (93-67) «100100000250
Oakland (75-85)000000000031

Angels blank A's while Lackey takes over ERA lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels can start planning their trip to Boston and John Lackey can start thinking of where he'd like to keep his award, if he ends up winning it, for the league's top earned-run average.

Lackey took over the American League lead in ERA, Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in two runs and the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Friday night. With no chance left to start the postseason at home, the Angels stopped their three-game losing streak.

"We faced a tough pitcher and we were able to manufacture a run in the first," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Vlad gave us a home run but some guys are still searching at the plate. We need to keep guys sharp. These guys still need to play."

Mark Ellis had two hits for the A's, who lost their fourth in a row, and their fifth straight home game.

"It was just a good pitcher's night," A's manager Bob Geren said. "A well-pitched game."

Lackey (19-9) allowed two hits in seven innings, struck out two and walked none, lowering his ERA to 3.01, just ahead of Cleveland's Fausto Carmona (3.06) and Oakland's Dan Haren (3.07). He improved to 12-3 with a 2.84 ERA against the A's and faced 23 hitters, two over the minimum. He retired his final 15 batters.

"I got some good feeling and I'll be rested and ready to go," Lackey said.

Justin Speier and Francisco Rodriguez completed the three-hitter, with Rodriguez getting three outs for his 39th save in 44 chances.

"We have a lot of confidence in John and when he takes the ball he has high expectations," Scioscia said. "You want to always keep your edge. He pitched a terrific game when we clinched it and he followed that with another outstanding performance.."

The Angels will open the playoffs Wednesday or Thursday at Boston, with Cleveland hosting the New York Yankees in the other AL series. The Red Sox and Indians clinched home field because they have tiebreaker advantages over the Angels, who are just 13-13 in September.

"We're going to have to play there anyway, so why not now?" Lackey said. "I know I'll be there. I'll show up. We do have some guys who could use an extra day off though."

The Angels were 2-5 against the Red Sox in Boston and took two of three agains them in Anaheim.

"We held our own in their park," Scioscia said. "They're a dynamic offensive club with a terrific pitching staff. We have the confidence that we can play with them, or anyone else in our league. For us, it's more in-house. It's just getting into our game."

Haren (15-9) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two.

"I knew Lack and I were right there," said Haren, who had a 1.58 ERA on June 9 and then watched it grow over the next 19 starts -- until Friday. "I had good stuff. I could have gone another inning. The pitches to Vlad weren't perfect, but they were good."

Chone Figgins walked to lead off the game, stole second, went to third on catcher Kurt Suzuki's throwing error and scored on Guerrero's fly to deep center.

"You have to keep working," Figgins said. "I'm hitting balls good and I'm still getting on base."

Guerrero homered in the fourth and left after a pitch by Andrew Brown hit him in the eighth.

Notes

  • The Angels are hopeful that OF Gary Matthews Jr. (irritated left knee) will play in one of the two remaining games.
  • Ellis was presented with the team's Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award before the game, in honor of the late Hall of Fame pitcher.
  • Haren joined Hunter (1972) and Vida Blue (1971) as the only A's pitchers who did not allow more than five runs in any start in a season.
  • Lackey is 10-1 against the AL West and 11-3 in his last 14 road starts.
  • Angels OF Juan Rivera went 2-for-3 and is now hitting a season-high .282 in his 13th game of the season.
  • Guerrero was hit by a pitch for the second straight game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Vladimir Guerrero is ready for October as he homers and drives in two runs against the A's.  (AP)
Vladimir Guerrero is ready for October as he homers and drives in two runs against the A's. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

V. Guerrero
AB 2
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Anaheim

J. Lackey
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 0
K 2
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B3100110 .334
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000012 .301
Vladimir Guerrero, DH2122000 .324
    Tommy Murphy, PR-DH0000000 .194
Garret Anderson, LF4000012 .297
Casey Kotchman, 1B4000001 .295
Juan Rivera, RF3020010 .282
    Nathan Haynes, PR-RF1000000 .268
Howie Kendrick, 2B4010012 .323
Mike Napoli, C2000211 .241
Reggie Willits, CF3000002 .293
Totals3025236  
Batting
HR - Vladimir Guerrero (27, Haren)
SF - Vladimir Guerrero (6)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero 2 (125)
SB - Chone Figgins (41, 3rd base off Haren/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 6
Los Angeles Angels
John Lackey (W,19-9) 7200020 3.01
Justin Speier (H,24) 1100010 2.92
Francisco Rodriguez (S,39) 1000200 2.85
WP - Francisco Rodriguez (7)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 74-47, Justin Speier 19-12, Francisco Rodriguez 23-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 11-8, Francisco Rodriguez 1-2
Batters Faced - John Lackey 23, Justin Speier 4, Francisco Rodriguez 5
Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF4000001 .289
Daric Barton, 1B3000101 .344
Nick Swisher, CF4000001 .261
Jack Cust, RF3000120 .257
    Kevin Thompson, PR0000000 .156
Mike Piazza, DH4000002 .276
Mark Ellis, 2B3020000 .276
Marco Scutaro, SS3000002 .260
Jack Hannahan, 3B3010011 .287
Kurt Suzuki, C3000002 .251
Totals3003023  
Fielding
DP - Hannahan-Ellis-Barton
E - Kurt Suzuki (2, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Dan Haren (L,15-9) 6321261 3.07
Andrew Brown 1.2100100 4.54
Jerry Blevins 0.1000000 9.64
Huston Street 1100000 2.76
HBP - Guerrero (by Andrew Brown)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 102-64, Andrew Brown 28-18, Jerry Blevins 5-2, Huston Street 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-7, Andrew Brown 1-3
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 23, Andrew Brown 7, Jerry Blevins 1, Huston Street 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32287
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Marty Foster