Series: Game 3 of 3

Anaheim won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, September 24
Game 2: Saturday, September 25
Game 3: Sunday, September 26

Athletics 2

(88-67, 39-42 away)

Angels 6

(87-68, 45-36 home)

8:05 PM ET, September 26, 2004

Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

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OAK 100010000 2 6 2
ANA 11200002 - 6 9 0

W: J. Lackey (14-12)

L: M. Mulder (18-7)

Glaus' three RBI help Angels win

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Angels know how to bounce back.

John Lackey fell behind early before Anaheim rallied behind three RBI from Troy Glaus to beat Oakland 6-2 Sunday to close within one game of the AL West-leading Athletics with a week to play.

"We got to keep pushing," Lackey said. "We got to be at our best these next couple of games."

After losing Friday's series opener, the Angels won two straight and head to Texas for a four-game series starting Monday before closing with three games at Oakland. The A's, who hold a two-game lead over the Rangers, host Seattle for four games starting Monday.

"It's going to be an interesting finish," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

Mark Mulder (17-7) was knocked out in the fourth inning, his shortest outing this season. Oakland, which has had sole possession of the division lead since Aug. 6, dropped to 10-14 in September.

"If we don't turn it around, we're in trouble," left fielder Eric Byrnes said.

Before the game, the Angels suspended left fielder Jose Guillen for the rest of the season for an outburst after being lifted for a pinch runner a day earlier and said he would remain suspended if the team advances to the postseason. Guillen is hitting .294 with 27 homers and a career-high 104 RBI.

"He understands the line he crossed," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had to do something with Jose. It was an issue getting in the way of winning."

Lackey (14-12) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings, improving to 10-4 since June 16 and evening the season series at eight apiece.

"My changeup has made my fastball more effective. It's really been a great tool for me. I had a breakthrough game with it against Texas," he said, referring to a July 28 win. "Ever since then I've really trusted it."

Glaus and David Eckstein homered for Anaheim, which pulled away with two runs in the eighth off Arthur Rhodes.

Mulder gave up four runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings, his second straight poor performance. On Tuesday, he lasted four innings in a 9-4 loss at Texas, giving up nine runs for the first time since Aug. 10, 2000.

"Everything kind of feels flat, and nothing is really sinking the way it should. It's just kind of sliding across the strike zone, and that's making things a little more hittable," Mulder said. "He usually would never come and get me that early, but I've also never pitched the way that I'm pitching right now. I'm not going to help the team by doing what I'm doing."

Mulder is scheduled to start Friday, but Macha said he would discuss it with the left-hander on Monday.

"It's extremely difficult. He's our horse. We've relied on him all year," Macha said. "The kid does nothing but give you all he's got out there, but we're in a pennant race."

Eric Chavez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Oakland's first run in the first inning, but Glaus' RBI single tied the game in the bottom half.

Guillen's replacement, Adam Riggs, gave the Angels a 2-1 lead with an RBI double off the center-field wall in the second, and Glaus hit a two-run homer in the third that made it 4-1.

One of Lackey's two wild pitches led to Oakland's second run, scoring Byrnes in the fifth.

Oakland put two on with one out in the eighth, but Erubiel Durazo flied out against Francisco Rodriguez -- Durazo was so frustrated that he tapped his bat against his helmet -- and Jermaine Dye grounded out.

Bengie Molina squeezed home a run for the Angels in the bottom half, and Eckstein homered later in the inning.

Game notes

Twenty of Anaheim's last 32 wins have been comebacks. ... Oakland has spent 52 straight days in first place. ... Anaheim RF Vladimir Guerrero received the Gene Autry owner's trophy as team MVP in voting by the players, ending a three-year run by Garret Anderson. ... The Angels set a franchise season attendance record with 3,375,677, including 43,512 for Sunday's final regular-season home game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press