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August 12, 2009

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Guerrero's 400th homer fires Angels

VLADIMIR Guerrero used his milestone 400th career home run to lift the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, the seventh-inning blast completing the scoring in a 20-hit slugfest.

The AL West-leading Angels' powerful right-hander drilled a pitch from reliever Russ Springer off the right-field foul pole for the decisive blow to give the team an opening victory in a three-game series.

"It came at a time when the team really needed it," Guerrero said.

The blast was also the second home run of the game for Guerrero, who bagged a solo shot in the second inning. First baseman Kendry Morales also homered twice to reach 25 for the season as Los Angeles (66-44) overcame a determined Rays (61-51) challenge in a game featuring six home runs in total.

Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-6 deficit with three runs in the fifth inning, when Carlos Pena homered to center field to make it 6-6.

After Morales put the Angels back on top with one of his round-trippers in the bottom of the fifth, Jason Bartlett, who finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs, had a game-tying triple against Los Angeles pitcher Jason Bulger in the sixth.

"It just wasn't our day," said Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist, who finished with two hits.

"They hit a home run off the foul pole. It was a good game. You never like losing, but we hit the ball well today."

Kevin Jepsen recorded the win for Los Angeles after pitching a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, while Brian Fuentes came on in the ninth to pick up his 32nd save of the year.

Young starter Sean O'Sullivan, who pitched a no-hitter in the minor leagues last month, allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings of a no-decision.

In Boston, Nick Green hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and one of Boston's three homers as the Red Sox ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the American League on Monday.

Snap streak

In New York, Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill hit solo homers as Toronto snapped New York's seven-game winning streak with a 5-4 win.

Overbay drove in two runs, and Edwin Encarnacion and Joe Inglett also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who played an inspired game about 30 minutes after learning that teammate Alex Rios had been claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox.

Elsewhere, it was: Athletics 9, Orioles 1; and Mariners 6, White Sox 4.

In the National League, Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle and had a career-high seven RBIs to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 11-5 in the National League.

Tulowitzki, who had a grand slam denied in the first video review ever at Coors Field, led off the seventh a triple shy of the franchise's fifth cycle and first in nine years.

He laced a 3-2 pitch down the left-field line and slid headfirst into the bag before third baseman Jake Fox could corral the throw from left.

In other action, the Cardinals beat the Reds 4-1; Marlins topped Astros 8-6; Diamondbacks 7, Mets 4; and Dodgers 4, Giants 2.


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