baltimore – Even though Vladimir Guerrero can’t sprint around the basepaths the way he used to, the oft-injured slugger never has any trouble with his home run trot.
Guerrero hit two homers and had five RBI, Kendry Morales and Maicer Izturis also connected, and the Los Angeles Angels pulled away to an 8-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Guerrero hit a two-run shot in the sixth and a three-run drive in the seventh. He has missed 56 games this season while on the disabled list but still has 10 home runs in 2009 – 402 for his career.
“He has played with injury after injury after injury, but he knows how to hit, and he knows how to hit with men on base,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He doesn’t run near as well as he used to, he doesn’t move near as well as he used to, but he knows what to do when that bat’s in his hand.”
The score was tied at 2 before the Angels scored three runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh.
Izturis broke the tie with a solo shot off rookie David Hernandez (4-5) in the sixth. Bobby Abreu followed with a single before Guerrero hit a drive over the center-field wall.
In the seventh, Cla Meredith walked Chone Figgins and issued a two-out intentional walk to Abreu before Guerrero, 34, homered to center for his 38th career multihomer game.
Walk a batter to get to Guerrero? Trembley defended the strategy as a righty vs. righty matchup, and Guerrero didn’t argue.
“I’ve seen it more this year and I can’t blame them because I haven’t been right,” he said through an interpreter. “When I’m not right, they want to take a chance with me.”
It turned out to be a bad move, because Guerrero obviously still has plenty of pop in his bat.
“It’s fun to watch them go out of the ballpark, that’s for sure,” he said. “All you try to do is go out there and put a good swing on the ball.”
Los Angeles took three of four from Baltimore to improve to 22-8 since the All-Star break. The Angels have won six of seven overall and 20 of their last 26 on the road.
“Great to see Vlad get a hold of a couple, and Izzy (Izturis),” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re at a point right now of trying to settle our pitching, and as we keep moving forward it’s important for the offense to keep rolling. That’s what happened tonight.”