<
>

Rogers dealt first loss in 10 decisions

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels weren't strutting
after sweeping their closest pursuer in the AL West, and the Texas Rangers weren't as down as they might have been had this happened
in September.

The Angels beat the Rangers 6-0 on Wednesday night as Jarrod Washburn combined with two relievers on a six-hitter and sent Kenny Rogers to his first loss in 10 decisions.

"It's not about getting in anybody's heads, or thinking you
have anybody's number," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This
season wasn't going to be made or broke on this series.

"We're fortunate that we played well these three games, but
that's a terrific club over there and they're going to be there all
the way through. So there's a huge challenge ahead of us."

Juan Rivera and Bengie Molina homered for the defending AL West
champions, who have won seven of nine this season against Texas.
The Rangers are a season-worst 4½ games out of first following
their 10th loss in 15 games.

"It's not discouraging at all for us," Texas catcher Rod
Barajas said. "We didn't come in here a hot team, anyway. We
weren't pitching that great and we weren't swinging the bat that
great. We weren't at the top of our game this time, and they won
the series. But it's just one series. The next time we play them,
this will be in our minds and we'll go after them."

Texas' three starting pitchers in the series -- Rogers, Chan Ho
Park and rookie Chris Young -- entered with a combined 22-6 record.
Collectively, they surrendered 19 runs and 30 hits in 9 1/3 innings
against the Angels.

"You can't put too much emphasis on statistics," Angels left
fielder Garret Anderson said. "Yeah, we're playing good right now
and they didn't hit like I know they're very capable of. But
they're going to brush it off and move on, because we're going to
see them next week at their place."

Washburn (4-3) allowed five hits over seven innings. He won for
the first time in 11 starts at Anaheim since July 15. The
left--hander had lost six straight decisions at Angel Stadium in
that span.

"It feels good to win anytime, whether it's on the road or at
home," Washburn said. "But it's been way too long since the last
one here, so it definitely feels good -- especially against that
team.

"They're an aggressive lineup with a group of very good
hitters. I think we caught them at a very good time, with Michael
Young at home for the birth of his kid. I hope all goes well with
that, but I was happy he wasn't in the lineup the last couple of
days."

One night after handing Park his first loss in seven decisions
spanning 11 starts, the Angels sent Rogers (9-3) to his first
defeat in 11 starts stretching back to Tampa Bay's 3-2 victory over
him on April 21. The nine consecutive wins were a career best for
the left-hander, and three short of Bobby Witt's club record.

Rogers allowed six runs, 10 hits and three walks in 3 1/3
innings. It was his shortest start since July 10, 2004, when he
lasted only 1 2/3 innings at Boston in a 14-6 loss that snapped
another streak of eight straight winning decisions.

"He made mistakes and left some pitches over the plate,"
Barajas said. "When you're not an overpowering guy and you do
that, you're going to get hurt. Kenny wasn't as sharp as usual and
he gave up a lot more runs than he normally does. But that's not
going to happen too often."

The Angels, who scored 11 first-inning runs during the series,
took a 4-0 lead before Rogers could record his third out. They got
five consecutive two-out hits, including Molina's RBI single and
Rivera's three-run homer to left-center on an 0-2 pitch.

Molina led off the third with a homer to left-center. It was his
sixth this season and fourth of his career against Rogers, who has
been taken deep in four of his last five outings. He allowed one
homer in his first 10 starts spanning 69 1/3 innings.

Rivera, getting the start in center field hours after Steve
Finley was placed on the disabled list with a strained right
shoulder, chased Rogers in the fourth with a bases loaded RBI
single that made it 6-0.

Darin Erstad was 0-for-2 with two walks, ending his career-best
hitting streak -- and the longest in the majors this season -- at 21
games. He scored both times Rogers walked him.

"He really doesn't care because we won. That's the kind of guy
he is," Washburn said. "He did his part to help us win and got a
couple of walks to get things going. That's what he does. He loves
to win and does whatever he had to do to help the team."

Game notes
Vladimir Guerrero's two hits extended his hitting streak
against the Rangers to 27 games, the longest by any active player
against one team. ... Angels SS Orlando Cabrera didn't start for
the third straight game because of his sore right elbow. ... Texas
DH Marshall McDougall singled in the fifth for his first big league
hit.