Vlad leads Rangers to win over Halos

Vladimir Guerrero left the plate with a spring in his trot, pumping his fist and swiftly circling the bases to meet his three Texas teammates back at home.

Guerrero rarely looked this light on his feet last season with the Los Angeles Angels. They let him walk away as a free agent -- and Guerrero is stomping all over his former team's pitching this week.

Guerrero hit a grand slam and another homer during a four-hit performance, leading the Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night.

Guerrero also had a long double and a single during the 42nd multihomer game of his career. The slugger has three homers and six hits in his first two games back at Angel Stadium since Los Angeles decided not to re-sign him last winter -- but he claims it's absolutely nothing personal.

"I just really try to do my job," Guerrero said through a translator. "I'm swinging the bat well and hitting it hard."

Guerrero's fourth-inning grand slam and eighth-inning solo shot sent Texas to its 14th win in 16 games despite a shaky major league debut for starter Omar Beltre, who made it through just four innings after giving up a leadoff homer to Erick Aybar.

The AL West-leading Rangers earned their 21st win in June, setting a club record for wins in a month. After Tuesday's 6-5 loss in the series opener, Texas won for the ninth time in 10 road games to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time in nearly four weeks.

"We played a solid ballgame," said Josh Hamilton, who stretched his hitting streak to 23 games with an eighth-inning double. "Beltre did good to get us through those early innings, and then Vladdy took it from there."

Dustin Nippert (3-3) pitched three innings of relief for the victory, and Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.

But Anaheim's envious eyes were on Guerrero, who tied his career high with four hits for the 24th time during the third multihomer game of his first season with Texas. The 2004 AL MVP connected for the seventh grand slam of his career in his second game back in Orange County, where he played the past six seasons for the Angels.

"He's as dangerous as any hitter in the game right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's obviously at a level we haven't seen in a couple of years, but it just goes back to his health and how he's feeling. ... That's what he can do. Vlad was swinging it tonight. We obviously didn't pitch him the way we were trying to. You make a mistake on Vlad and you're going to pay a price."


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