Angels 9, Orioles 3

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BALTIMORE – Vladimir Guerrero homered twice and drove in three runs to back a fine pitching performance by John Lackey, and the Los Angeles Angels snapped a three-game skid by beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 .

Chone Figgins also homered for the Angels, who got 13 hits in their most productive offensive showing of the season.

Guerrero hit solo homers in the first and seventh innings, and an RBI single in the fifth. The first inning drive was his first extra-base hit since homering in his first at-bat on opening day.

Lackey (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings. He struck out five and walked none.

Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez entered in the ninth, but left with an apparent leg injury after Jay Gibbons hit a one-out RBI double. Brendan Donnelly got the final two outs.

Jeff Conine homered for the Orioles, whose three-game winning streak ended. Javy Lopez also hit one over the wall, but he passed teammate Miguel Tejada on the basepaths and was forced to settle for a single.

Orioles starter Kris Benson (1-2) gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings. The right-hander came in with a 1.93 ERA, but yielded at least one hit in every inning.

His wife, model Anna Benson, was among the 19,904 in attendance. It was the second time she’s seen Kris pitch since he came to the Orioles in an offseason trade with the New York Mets.

“I was in Tampa, but it’s my first time in Camden Yards,” she said. “I’m just here with him. Any time he pitches, I’ll be here.”

Guerrero sent a 2-1 fastball into the left-field seats to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.

Baltimore tied it in the second, but was left aching for more. After Tejada singled, Lopez hit a drive to center that sent Darin Erstad leaping at the wall to make the catch. When Erstad tumbled to the ground, it was uncertain whether he caught the ball.

By the time Erstad displayed his empty glove, Tejada had retreated from second base and was passed by Lopez. By rule, Lopez was credited with an RBI single and called out for passing the runner.

The Angels took the lead for good in the third. Maicer Izturis singled and took third on a single by Figgins. With Adam Kennedy at the plate, Figgins got caught in a rundown while trying to steal second. Izturis broke for the plate and beat the throw from first baseman Conine as part of a successful double steal.

Los Angeles made it 4-1 in the fifth. Izturis doubled and scored on a double by Kennedy, who came home on a broken-bat single by Guerrero.

Conine hit his 200th career homer in the bottom half, an opposite-field solo shot to right.

Guerrero homered off Sendy Rleal in the seventh, and the Angels pulled away with a four-run eighth, capped by a three-run shot by Figgins.

Notes: Angels DH Tim Salmon left in the fourth inning with a strained right hip flexor. … Baltimore LF David Newhan made two fine diving catches. … Conine has three hits this season: two homers and an RBI double. … Los Angeles has scored in the first inning in eight of its 12 games.

AP-ES-04-16-06 1632EDT

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