Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Angels leads 1-0 (as of 9/30)

Game 1: Friday, September 30
LA Angels7Final
Game 2: Saturday, October 1
LA Angels7Final
Game 3: Sunday, October 2
LA Angels7Final

Angels 7

(93-67, 44-35 away)

Rangers 1

(79-81, 44-35 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 30, 2005

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    LAA 200030200 7 12 0
    TEX 000000001 1 5 1

    W: J. Lackey (14-5)

    L: R. Dickey (1-2)

    Lackey gets five-inning tune-up as Angels win

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels don't know who they will face in the first round of the playoffs. On Friday night, they looked ready for anybody.

    John Lackey allowed three hits over five scoreless innings in his final playoff tuneup and Garret Anderson hit a three-run homer as the AL West champion Angels beat the Texas Rangers 7-1.

    "Every team in the playoffs is a good team," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It'll come down to how you execute down to the end."

    Lackey (14-5), who was sharp despite pitching on three days' rest, will start the Angels' second playoff game next week against an opponent still to be determined. Bartolo Colon draws the Game 1 assignment for Los Angeles.

    Lackey improved to 9-2 on the road, struck out four and walked one to help the Angels to their 12th victory in 14 games. Lackey finished with a career-high 199 strikeouts.

    "John looks ready to go," Scioscia said. "He's one of the top pitchers in our league. He had quite a year."

    Since the All-Star break, Lackey is 8-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 15 starts.

    Anderson snapped a 1-for-24 slump with his 16th homer. He's been bothered by knee and back problems and is currently serving as the designated hitter. The Angels are unsure whether Anderson will be available to play left field in the playoffs, but his bat will be in the lineup.

    "In the playoffs, you're going to see good pitching so it's going to take everybody," Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said. "But having Garret swing the bat like that will be big for us."

    Kelvim Escobar went two scoreless innings for the Angels and Esteban Yan allowed Kevin Mench's sacrifice fly in the ninth.

    Texas' Michael Young, the AL batting leader at .332, went 0-for-4 to end his career-high 25-game hitting streak. Young's streak is the second-longest in club history behind Gabe Kapler's 28-game run in 2000.

    "It really wasn't that big of a deal," Young said. "Granted, I want to get hits every game but not to keep a streak alive. I want to help us win."

    The Rangers remained at a club-record 259 homers, five short of tying the major league mark set by the Seattle Mariners in 1997.

    R.A. Dickey (1-2) allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings in his fourth major league start as a knuckleballer. He walked five and struck out two.

    Dickey's knuckler was missing the strike zone in the first inning, as he walked three of the first four batters. The Angels got the game's first run on Darin Erstad's fielder's choice grounder, and Bengie Molina followed with an RBI single.

    "Obviously with a pitch like the knuckleball, you have to throw it in the strike zone to have guys respect it and I had a tough time doing it," Dickey said. "I had a really good knuckleball but I couldn't control it and that's part of the learning curve."

    Anderson's homer off Dickey extended the Angels' lead to 5-0.

    In the seventh, Casey Kotchman's RBI double and Josh Paul's run-scoring single off Edison Volquez made it 7-0.

    Game notes

    Lackey left right after the game for a family wedding on Saturday in his hometown of Abilene, Texas. ... The Angels lead the season series 13-4. ... Pitching coach Orel Hershiser rejoined the Rangers after missing a three-game series in Seattle to attend his father-in-law's funeral in San Antonio. ... Alfonso Soriano had two stolen bases in the fourth, giving him 30 for the season. Soriano became the first Ranger with 30 homers and 30 steals. He has only been caught stealing twice this season. ... Vladimir Guerrero has hit safely in all 35 career games against Texas, matching the longest streak against one team in major league history. Ken Griffey Jr. hit in 35 straight games against Cleveland from 1992-96.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press