Shields gets win despite blowing save

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- After fouling off a pitch on an attempted
suicide squeeze, Steve Finley did what he does best -- swing the bat
and put the ball in play.

Finley drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single and
Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer, leading the Los Angeles Angels
to a 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

Brian Shouse (1-1) walked Jeff DaVanon and Vladimir Guerrero to
open the ninth before Garret Anderson grounded into a force at
second. Finley, who jumped from the NL West champion Dodgers to the
AL West champion Angels as a free agent in December, slapped a 1-1
pitch to left to score DaVanon -- one pitch after his failed bunt.

"I think it was a great call. I just didn't get it down,"
Finley said. "It was 1-0 when I got the squeeze sign so I was kind
of going out over the plate, thinking it was going to be another
slider. But he threw a fastball up and in, and it was a tough pitch
to bunt on.

"The next pitch I was doing the same thing, just looking out
over the plate. He left one out there and it went through the hole.
I was upset for not getting the run in my previous at-bat. If I
did, that last inning's a moot point," he said.

Scot Shields (1-0) got the win despite allowing a tying RBI
single by Michael Young in the top of the ninth. David Dellucci led
off with a walk and went to third on two wild pitches before
Shields walked Rod Barajas. After Alfonso Soriano and Hank Blalock
struck out, Young drove in Dellucci.

Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez was not available to pitch
because he worked the previous two nights, throwing 32 pitches in
three innings. But pitching the ninth wasn't much of a stretch for
Shields, who saved four games last season while Troy Percival was
on the disabled list.

"I felt fine out there. I feel like I was a little more amped
up on opening day than I was tonight," Shields said. "But Michael
Young is one of the best hitters in the game. I left a pitch up in
the zone and he hammered it."

Soriano homered and Dellucci hit a two-run double for the
Rangers, who dropped two of three to the Angels and haven't won a
season-opening series since 1999. It's the first time in club
history that the Rangers have opened a season with three straight
one-run games.

"I don't think it leaves a bad taste. If anything, there were
some positives in it," Dellucci said. "We were extremely close to
winning all three ballgames, and still weren't swinging the bats
like we're capable of doing. We have to be very confident that once
our bats come around and we start hitting the ball like we should,
we'll be playing extremely good baseball."

Angels starter John Lackey allowed four runs and three hits in 4
2/3 innings, walking four and throwing three wild pitches -- two of
which allowed runs to score. The five wild pitches by the Angels'
staff were one shy of the club record.

Lackey, attempting to push his career record above .500, struck
out the side on 12 pitches in the first inning and didn't allow a
hit until Richard Hidalgo's leadoff single in the fifth. But the
lanky right-hander didn't make it out of the inning as Texas turned
a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead.

Adrian Gonzalez outlasted Lackey during a 15-pitch plate
appearance, working out a walk after fouling off six straight
two-strike deliveries. One out later, Dellucci got the green light
on a 3-0 pitch and hit a two-run double that trimmed the Angels'
lead to 3-2.

"It definitely had an effect. He was up there for a while,"
Lackey said. "It was a good battle and he ended up winning it."

Dellucci scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Soriano walked
and scored the go-ahead run on another wild pitch that bounced off

"When you try to bounce a breaking ball with two strikes,
that's not a wild pitch. That's right where you want it to be,"
Lackey said. "I mean, you've definitely got to call those wild
pitches, but that's right where I wanted to throw it."

Texas starter Chris Young allowed three runs and seven hits in
four innings. R.A. Dickey replaced him and gave up Molina's first
homer of the season.

Soriano homered in the seventh against Brendan Donnelly, one
night after hitting a go-ahead shot in the 12th against Bret

Game notes
Lackey threw 48 pitches in the fifth -- one fewer than he
did in the first four innings combined. ... Guerrero, who doubled
in the seventh, has hit safely in all 21 games he's played against
Texas. ... The umpiring crew for this series included Tim and Bill
Welke, marking the first time brothers have worked in the same
regular-season game. John and Mark Hirschbeck were on the same crew
for the 2000 ALCS -- the only time they worked together in the