Rangers fall again to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero hits Texas pitching as if he were taking batting practice.

The Rangers' biggest nemesis had a solo homer and two RBI singles to lead the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-4 victory Tuesday night. Guerrero went 4-for-4 and was walked intentionally with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth inning.

In 56 career games against the Rangers, he is hitting .442, with 21 home runs, 49 RBIs and 49 runs. He had an RBI double in their 4-1 victory over Texas in the season opener a night earlier.

Texas starter Vicente Padilla, who gave up all of Guerrero's run-scoring hits in the loss, didn't particularly feel picked on.

"Guerrero is hitting everybody," Padilla said through a translator. "I made a good pitch to him in the first inning, but he broke his bat and still got a single."

Said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia: "He does that to everybody. He's just a special offensive player."

Texas rookie manager Ron Washington said before the game that one strategy for pitching to Guerrero is "Get him off the plate and then throw offspeed down and away where he can't get the big part of the bat on it."

Padilla's first pitch to the Angels' slugger in the opening inning was a fastball inside that caused Guerrero to whirl away from the plate. He singled in the Angels' first run a couple of pitches later.

"He got his toehold and didn't move again," Washington said. "We've got to figure out a way to get this guy out. If I get an opportunity not to pitch to him, I won't pitch to him.

"I tried to pitch around him, and it didn't work. I mean, this guy's a monster. I can't walk him every at-bat. We tried to throw it out of the zone, he hit it."

Kelvim Escobar (1-0) went 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs and three hits. One of them was Ian Kinsler's second solo homer in as many games. The Angels' right-hander walked five and struck out four.

Justin Speier, signed by the Angels as a free agent during the offseason, threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings, and Scot Shields closed with two perfect innings.

The Angels pounded Padilla (0-1) for six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.

The Rangers' Sammy Sosa, back after taking a year off, went 1-for-4, with two strikeouts -- including taking a big cut and missing on a chest-high, 3-2 slider for the final out of the fifth inning as Escobar pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.

"That was exciting," Escobar said. "The fans got very loud. That was the biggest out of the game for me."

He added with a chuckle, "He's a pretty good hitter."

Gary Matthews Jr. went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice against his former teammates in his second game for Los Angeles. He went 1-for-3 and scored a run in his Angels debut.

Los Angeles opened a 6-2 lead with three runs in the fifth. Matthews singled leading off and came all the way around when right fielder Nelson Cruz misplayed Orlando Cabrera's single for a two-base error. Guerrero and Casey Kotchman had RBI singles later in the inning.

Texas had closed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the fifth with an unearned run on second baseman Howie Kendrick's fielding error.

Guerrero hit a towering shot just outside the left-field foul pole in the third inning, then drove another Padilla pitch over the fence in straightaway center for his first homer of the year.


The Rangers have stranded seven runners at third base in their first two games, while leaving the bases loaded three times. ... Tim Salmon, who retired after last season after 15 years with the Angels, was honored in pregame ceremonies. Salmon, among the most popular players in the team's history, holds club records in homers (299), runs (986) and walks (970). Among the tributes was a video message of congratulations from Baltimore Hall of Famer Cal Ripken.