Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Angels leads 1-0 (as of 6/26)

Game 1: Monday, June 26
LA Angels5
Game 2: Tuesday, June 27
LA Angels4
Game 3: Wednesday, June 28
LA Angels2

Rockies 4

(38-38, 18-20 away)

Angels 5

(35-41, 17-20 home)

    10:05 PM ET, June 26, 2006

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 200001001 4 5 0
    LAA 00000005 - 5 8 1

    W: J. Lackey (5-5)

    L: J. Mesa (0-2)

    S: F. Rodriguez (19)

    Angels rally in eighth to upend Rockies

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- John Lackey got enough run support to win a game, for a change -- although he had to wait for it.

    Mike Napoli's two-run double highlighted a five-run rally in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels pulled out an improbable 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night in the opener of the first interleague series between the teams since 2001.

    The two-time defending AL West champions came in 3-33 when trailing after seven innings. They had scored more than four runs in only three of Lackey's previous 12 starts.

    "I'll take it anytime it happens, definitely," Lackey said. "I'll take as many runs as I can get. It was a big win for us because we haven't had many come-from-behind wins this season. So it was more of a lift for the whole team, more than just a win for me."

    Lackey (5-5) allowed three runs and four hits over eight innings, striking out four and walking two. The right-hander was 1-5 in his previous 10 starts despite a 3.41 ERA during that stretch. But he wouldn't let the lack of run support get to him.

    "You've got to be a professional about it," the five-year veteran said. "You've got to go about your business, make pitches, work hard and try to give the team a chance to win every time you go out there."

    Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 19th save, allowing a two-out homer to Jorge Piedra. It was the second earned run he has allowed in 34 career innings of interleague competition.

    Rockies starter Jason Jennings, who hadn't given up an earned run in his previous two starts, was charged with two runs and four hits in seven-plus innings and struck out five in his first career appearance against the Angels. The right-hander departed with a 3-0 lead after giving up a single to Maicer Izturis and walking Adam Kennedy in the eighth.

    "I felt like I could have stayed in, but I understood why I came out," Jennings said. "I wasn't tiring, but I was getting close too 100 pitches and I was about to face the top of the lineup for the fourth time. Mesa's our eighth-inning guy, so I wasn't shocked that I came out."

    Chone Figgins greeted Jose Mesa (0-2) with an RBI single, Orlando Cabrera followed with a broken-bat single to left that loaded the bases, and Kennedy scored on Vladimir Guerrero's groundout. Napoli chased Mesa with the hit to right-center that delivered the tying and go-ahead runs.

    "I was just looking for something up that I could drive," Napoli said. "I was trying to do anything I could to keep it off the ground and stay out of a double play. But it wasn't just my hit. It was a team thing. Everyone battled to get on base and put us in a situation where we could win the game."

    Juan Rivera capped the rally with an RBI single off Ramon Ramirez.

    The Angels didn't get their first hit until Rivera doubled into the left field corner with one out in the fifth. Kendry Morales, who had walked, had to stop at third because a fan interfered with Rivera's hit, and Jennings escaped the jam when Izturis popped out and Kennedy struck out.

    Todd Helton gave Colorado a 2-0 lead in the first with his eighth home run, a drive to right-center that followed a single by Clint Barmes.

    "I threw only two bad pitches in the first inning, so I wasn't that concerned about it," Lackey said.

    The Rockies left the bases loaded in the second when Jamey Carroll grounded into a double play, but they increased the margin to 3-0 in the sixth with a two-out RBI single by Brad Hawpe.

    "Lackey hit his spots and stayed out of the middle of the plate," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "His cut fastball was very effective and he threw the slider off of that and some slow breaking balls. Besides Helton and Hawpe, it was tough going for a lot of our guys."

    Cabrera's hit extended his club-record streak to 54 consecutive games getting on base without the benefit of a fielder's choice.

    Game notes

    Piedra was 1-for-3 in his second career appearance as a DH. He is 2-for-17 since his recall from the minors on June 9, with all of his other at-bats coming as a pinch hitter. His only other hit was a home run against the Dodgers. ... Hurdle said he remembered having a few at-bats himself as a DH during his six seasons with Kansas City, "but I never DH-ed in the minor leagues with the Mets. I told (manager) Davey Johnson I didn't think that DH-ing for a National League club was a good career move." ... Angels CF Darin Erstad, who is on the DL for the second time this season because of irritation in his right ankle, went back to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, to see a doctor about his condition. ... Guerrero, who is in an 11-for-74 skid that has dropped his average from .332 to .286, is the top vote-getter in fan balloting for next month's All-Star game. Guerrero, the league's MVP two years ago, batted over .300 every season from 1997 through last year.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press