CHICAGO (AP) – John Lackey pitched seven shutout innings, and the Los Angeles Angels hit three first-inning homers Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox that completed a three-game sweep.

Chone Figgins led off the game with a homer, and Garret Anderson and Darin Erstad added solo shots in the first off Orlando Hernandez. Figgins had a sacrifice fly in the second and stole his 50th base in the eighth.

Vladimir Guerrero hit his 29th homer in the eighth to help the Angels win their fourth straight game, all on the road.

Los Angeles scored four runs against a shaky Orlando Hernandez, who lasted only two innings. The Angels won the season series 6-4 and increased their lead in the AL West over Oakland to two games.

Lackey (12-5) allowed six hits, walked one and struck out three to win his second straight decision. He is 6-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break.

Juan Uribe hit his 14th homer off Greg Jones in the ninth to prevent the shutout. Chicago has lost four straight after a seven-game winning streak and came into the day with a 61/2-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.

Hernandez (9-8) was replaced by rookie Brandon McCarthy to start the third after giving up five hits. In the days leading up to the game, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he would use McCarthy, 2-0 in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Aug. 30, to spell Hernandez early if he struggled.

“It all depends on how El Duque throws,” Guillen said before the game. “I hope he throws nine innings of shutout today. If something happens, we have to be prepared.”

Guillen had good reason to worry. Hernandez gave up three homers in a game for the second time in three starts and has lost seven of nine decisions since starting the season 7-1.

McCarthy’s changeup-fastball repertoire kept the Angels off-balance for most of his first relief appearance this season. He allowed two runs and six hits, striking out eight in 5 2-3 innings.

He had thrown 17 2-3 scoreless innings since his recall before allowing Casey Kotchman’s sacrifice fly in the sixth. He gave up another run in the eighth on Guerrero’s homer.

Notes: White Sox CF Aaron Rowand had two great catches, taking away a hit from Guerrero at the top of the wall in left-center in the first and making a running shoestring catch of Anderson in the second. … Figgins has a 10-game hitting streak. … Anderson homered for the second straight game after going more than a month without hitting one. … McCarthy was 0-1 with a 8.14 ERA in five starts earlier in the year when El Duque went on the DL.

AP-ES-09-11-05 1750EDT


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