Angels Beat Giants But Lose Hunter In Process

The outfield flags whipped in the wind at San Francisco’s AT&T Park and it sure looked like a night when the ball might carry. Sure enough, seven home runs sailed over the fences.

And the Angels Torii Hunter crashed into the wall trying to catch another long ball and had to leave the game because of it.

Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu hit back-to-back homers, John Lackey ended a four-start winless stretch and the Los Angeles Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 9-7 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.

Angels center Hunter left after bruising his ribs when he crashed into the wall trying to catch a double by Bengie Molina in the fourth inning. X-rays on his right rib cage were normal.

He was to be re-evaluated Tuesday to determine when he could play again. He's hoping for Friday against the Dodgers.

Before the injury, Hunter extended his hitting streak to nine games with a fourth-inning single. He hit three home runs Saturday against San Diego.

Aybar hit a two-run homer before Abreu connected in the Angels' seven-run fourth. Robb Quinlan singled in two runs, Mike Napoli added an RBI double and Lackey even singled in a run for his first major league hit and RBI.

Juan Rivera and Sean Rodriguez also went deep for Los Angeles, which has 13 home runs in its last four games.

"I don't think it's a fluke," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've been saying all along we felt we had more power potential on this team than we were showing. These last four games it's showing up in a big way."

Brian Fuentes entered and got pinch-hitter Rich Aurilia on a flyout for his 17th save in 20 chances.

The teams combined for 31 hits and the seven homers matched the most for the Giants' 10-year-old waterfront ballpark. The Angels, who had lost four of five in San Francisco, improved to 6-1 in interleague play.

Lackey (2-2) struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings and won for the first time since May 18 against Seattle. He was coming off a 9-5 loss at Tampa Bay last Wednesday in which he was tagged for a season-high nine runs and 11 hits.

Lackey was happy to finally get a hit.

"These guys are worried about 0-for-10s and I'm 0-for-7 years," he said. "I usually put the ball in play. I hit a lot of groundballs and haven't found any holes. It happened. I'm not going to say I'm a good hitter or anything. I finally fouled off enough pitches and ran into one."

Lackey was booed when he was announced before the game. He pitched Game 7 for the wild-card Angels when they beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series for the franchise's first championship.

Barry Zito (3-7) was done after 3 2-3 innings for his shortest outing of the season as the Giants had their three-game winning streak snapped on the heels of their first home sweep of the Oakland Athletics since 2001. Zito, who had won his previous two starts, allowed a season-high seven runs and matched his most hits with 10.

Scioscia recalled entering the Giants' ballpark through the wrong gate during the World Series and being "pelted by stale sourdough" while riding a golf cart around the warning track to the other side.

"It's special," he said. "It brings you back to that series. It was a terrific series."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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