ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Bartolo Colon wanted to pitch a
complete game with his parents in attendance. Only a high pitch
count prevented him from doing it.
Colon pitched into the ninth inning for his seventh win in eight
starts, Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in two runs, and the
Anaheim Angels held on for a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays on Wednesday night."My dad and my mom are here from the Dominican Republic,"
Colon said through an interpreter. "Obviously, I ran into some
problems with a lot of pitches, but I was really glad to get that
far."Colon (12-9) allowed two runs and three hits in 8 2-3 innings --
one out shy of his first complete game this season and 29th of his
career. The right-hander was taken out after throwing a season-high
128 pitches. He walked three -- including Jose Cruz Jr. with one out
in the ninth -- and struck out five."There might come a need for him to throw 130 pitches in a
game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I didn't think tonight
was the night for it."After getting Julio Lugo to pop out, Colon was replaced by
Francisco Rodriguez. The right-hander walked Toby Hall, gave up an
RBI single to Geoff Blum, a two-run double to Jorge Cantu and
walked Tino Martinez before getting Carl Crawford to ground out to
end it."We put it away ... that's the bottom line," Scioscia said.Guerrero went 2-for-5, making him 11-for-33 with four homers and
13 RBI in his career at Tropicana Field. He put the Angels up 1-0
on his 26th homer of the season in the first off Mark Hendrickson.Guerrero also had an RBI double during a three-run third that
extended the Anaheim lead to 4-0.Colon held Tampa Bay without a hit until rookie B.J. Upton
opened the fourth with a ground-single to center. Upton advanced to
second when Lugo drew a two-out walk, but both runners were left
stranded when Hall lined out to center."He was painting both sides of the plate," Blum said.Cruz got the Devil Rays' second hit, a leadoff double in the
seventh. He advanced to third when Lugo flew out and scored on
Hall's grounder.Colon twisted his right ankle slightly trying to touch first
base on Joey Gathright's infield single in the eighth. He remained
in the game after making a couple warmup throws."As I reached out to get the base, I overextended a little
bit," Colon said.Darin Erstad had a run-scoring single, followed by Guerrero's
RBI double and Garret Anderson's sacrifice fly in the third.Jose Molina's RBI single gave Anaheim a 5-0 lead in the fourth,
ending Hendrickson's night. Molina scored to make it 6-0 when first
baseman Aubrey Huff was charged with an error when he misplayed
Guerrero's two-out grounder.Hendrickson (8-12) allowed six runs and five hits in three-plus
innings. He has lost four straight starts, giving up 22 runs and 32
hits over 18 2-3 innings."He hasn't been very strong and has been getting hit hard,"
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said.Hendrickson will not make his next scheduled start Monday, and
then will be placed at the back of the rotation.No announcement was made on who will take Hendrickson's place,
but highly touted minor league pitcher Scott Kazmir might get the
call. Before the game, Piniella said it was a good possibility that
Kazmir would be called up from Double-A Montgomery to join the
rotation next week.
Colon is 7-0 all-time against the Devil Rays. ... Upton has
a nine-game hitting streak. ... Anaheim has won eight straight
games when the opposition starts a left-hander, and is 27-13
against left-handed starters. ... The Devil Rays are 15-27 since
they were a season-high two games (40-38) over .500 on July 3. ...
Cruz has five extra-base hits in his last 26 games.