ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels are keeping it close
in the AL West.
Garret Anderson hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning,
Darin Erstad had a three-run homer and the Angels beat Oakland 5-3
on Saturday to move within two games of the division-leading
Athletics again."If we had dropped four back with eight games left, that would
have been a huge deficit," Erstad said. "So we gave ourselves a
chance."The Angels are tied for second place in the AL West with the
Texas Rangers, who beat Seattle 5-4. Anaheim and Texas are six
games behind Boston, which beat the New York Yankees 12-5, in the
wild-card race.The Angels -- like the A's -- have been struggling, with both
clubs under .500 for the month.Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia, asked if he thought the win might
put his team over the hump, said, "You hope so.""We've got to carry this into tomorrow and keep plugging
away," he said.Mark Mulder, who leads the Oakland staff with 17 wins, will
pitch against John Lackey in Sunday's series finale. The Angels and
A's close out the regular season in Oakland next weekend.A's manager Ken Macha expects the race to still be going."If anybody writes that this thing is going to be over in the
next three or four days, they're wrong," Macha said. "This thing
is going to go right down to the end."I don't see any team on a five-game winning streak or a
five-game losing streak."Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer for the Athletics, who won the
series opener Friday night.Anderson greeted Ricardo Rincon with a liner down the
right-field line, giving Anaheim a 4-3 lead. Rincon had just
replaced Chad Bradford (5-7), who hit Jose Guillen with a pitch
leading off the inning.Alfredo Amezaga came in as a pinch-runner for Guillen and scored
easily from first base on Anderson's hit. Chone Figgins' RBI single
later in the inning gave Anaheim a two-run edge.Francisco Rodriguez (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings,
striking out four to run his total to 118 for the season, tops
among major league relievers.Troy Percival worked the ninth to earn his 30th save in 35
chances. He has 30 or more saves in seven consecutive seasons."We made some good plays in the field, Garret and Erstad came
up with big hits, and (Jarrod) Washburn, Frankie and Percival all
did a good job," Scioscia said.Erstad homered off Mark Redman in the fifth inning. Anderson
doubled twice for Anaheim.Dye tied it at 3 with his homer off Washburn in the sixth
inning.Mark Kotsay's RBI single gave the A's a short-lived 1-0 lead in
the fifth, then Erstad homered in the bottom of the inning.In the sixth, Eric Chavez singled with one out, then Dye
homered. It was Dye's 21st homer of the year.Erstad's homer off Redman in the fifth was his first since Aug.
19 and seventh of the year.Washburn gave up three runs and five hits in six innings. He
struck out four and walked two. In his last four starts, Washburn
has three losses and one no-decision.Redman allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with
six strikeouts and three walks.The A's won 6-3 Friday night.
Anaheim SS David Eckstein drew an intentional walk from
Rincon with first base open and two outs in the eighth -- the first
intentional walk of Eckstein's big league career. Figgins followed
with his RBI single. ... Two of Oakland's top three starters, Barry
Zito and Tim Hudson, missed facing the Angels this weekend. ...
Oakland's rookies left the stadium dressed in gaudy women's
clothing and wigs; it was the team's hazing day. ... Redman's start
was his career-high 31st of the season. He made 30 starts with
Detroit in 2002. ... The game was a sellout, as is Sunday's game.
That assures the Angels of a club-record 45 sellouts this year. The
previous high was 25 last season.