Angels rally for third straight win over Yankees

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero has only two hits in
the Los Angeles Angels' last three games against the New York
Yankees -- booming hits.

His three-run homer sparked the Angels to an 8-6 victory
Saturday night, their third come-from-behind win in a row over the

Two nights earlier, Guerrero's grand slam in the seventh brought
Los Angeles from behind in a 6-5 victory.

"Even when he's struggling, he's not slumping," said Los
Angeles teammate Darin Erstad, who had three hits Saturday. "He
has that ability to get it done."

After Guerrero drove Kevin Brown's pitch over the center-field
fence to give Los Angeles a 4-3 lead in the third inning, the
Angels added four more runs to chase Brown in the fourth.

"I don't know if it was that bad a pitch, but he's a really
good hitter and he hit that ball a long way," Brown said of
Guerrero's shot. "I didn't want to go out there and pitch like
that. I didn't give the team a chance."

Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer -- his 16th of the season and
11th in 16 games -- off Esteban Yan in the seventh inning to bring
New York within 8-6. But Scot Shields pitched a scoreless eighth
and Francisco Rodriguez set the Yankees down in order in the ninth
for his 24th save in 26 chances -- and third in three nights.

The AL West-leading Angels won for the fifth time in six games
this season against the Yankees, who fell 2½ games behind Boston in
the AL East.

Rookie Ervin Santana (5-4) went five innings and allowed four
runs -- three earned -- and seven hits. Included were consecutive
homers by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano leading off the third
inning as New York built a 3-1 lead.

Brown (4-7) lasted only 3 1/3 innings in his second rocky start
since coming off the disabled list earlier in the week. The
40-year-old right-hander gave up seven runs on six hits and four
walks against the Angels in his shortest stint in 13 starts this

He allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings of New York's
11-10 comeback victory at Texas on Monday night after being
activated earlier that day.

Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Torre said he rushed Brown
back because of an injury to Chien-Ming Wang, adding that seemed
his only choice.

"It's not so much being rushed back, it was just the
circumstances, and I know what they were," Brown said. "They
asked me if I felt like I could try and throw, and I told them I
was willing to try.

"No one has a crystal ball. I knew it was going to be a roll of
the dice. We had a situation where the team was asking if I could
do it, so what are you going to do? The team was in a tight spot. I
felt like I had a chance to do it."

The injury-prone Brown had missed 26 games with a strained lower
back, his second time on the DL this year and ninth since the start
of the 2000 season.

Asked if he believed it would be better to take time off rather
than try to work through the injury, Brown said: "That's a
question I think is going to be a combination of what's best for
the team and what is best for me ultimately, too.

"I've probably got about the least to lose as anybody. It's a
situation where I'm old and I'm not going to destroy my career if I
rush back out there too early. It's not like a guy who's 25 years
old and doing that and risking 10 years or whatever of his career.
So that was part of the decision. I was willing to risk it and give
it a shot."

Jeter, who came into the game in a 4-for-35 slump, had four
hits, including his 11th home run. Cano's homer was his eighth.

Guerrero hit his 18th homer after Brown walked Adam Kennedy and
Chone Figgins to open the third inning, then retired Darin Erstad
on a fly to center.

The Angels opened an 8-3 lead in the fourth after Brown again
walked the leadoff batter, this time Jeff DaVanon. Orlando Cabrera
struck out, but Kennedy singled, Figgins chased Brown with an RBI
double, then Erstad greeted Alex Graman with a two-run double.
Steve Finley's RBI single capped the inning.

Game notes
Giambi's homer snapped a 30-inning scoreless streak by the
Angels' bullpen. ... New York OF/DH Ruben Sierra, on the DL since
July 19 because of a strained left hamstring, took 40 swings on
Saturday. ... The Angels signed RHP Trevor Bell, an 18-year-old
they took with their first choice (37th overall) in this year's
free agent amateur draft, to a minor league contract. Bell was 8-3
with a 1.13 ERA and two saves in 16 games for Crescenta Valley
(Calif.) High this year. ... Cano's homer extended his hitting
streak to 12 games, tying Hideki Matsui for the Yankees' longest
this season.