Guerrero powers Angels' rout of Rockies
Vladimir Guerrero hit his first 50 home runs in the major leagues for the Montreal Expos when Jim Tracy was their bench coach. Now, the manager of the Colorado Rockies, Tracy remains in awe of him.
Guerrero ended a 28-game home run drought and had three RBIs and Bobby Abreu drove in three runs with a homer and a double as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Rockies 11-3 on Wednesday night.
Guerrero playing his second game since getting rid of his trademark dreadlocks, drove in the first of the Angels' three runs in the first with a double that ended an 0-for-14 rut. He made it 6-0 in the second with a first-pitch homer with two outs after Abreu's RBI double.
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"Those first couple of at-bats we saw from him tonight were very Vladimir Guerrero-like," Tracy said. "It looked like he hit a pretty good pitch, but we've seen Vladimir do that before - hit a pretty good pitcher's pitch and hit it hard. I don't know of another hitter I've seen who can cover the outer part of the plate and beyond as well as this guy does."
Guerrero's 394th career homer and second of the season ended a drought of 109 at-bats since his previous one on April 12 against Boston's Hideki Okajima. The longest drought of his career was 30 games in 2007. He made a slight adjustment, lowering his hands after watching some videotape of himself before the game.
"Vladdy got the home run he's been looking for, and I think cutting his hair has had something to do with it," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said with a grin. "Vladdy's on his way. We see the progress he's making since he's been back. Every day his bat speed has gotten better."
Guerrero, who was the Angels' DH, has not played right field all season because of a torn muscle in his chest, which has sidelined him for 35 games and still prevents him from throwing from that distance.
"I don't really see this game tonight as anything more than another game," Guerrero said through a translator. "I'm not thinking about what could happen from here on, but I'm happy that things came out well because I've been working hard at it."
The Angels, trying to win three straight division titles for the first time in the franchise's 49-year history, remained tied with Texas for the AL West lead after falling a season-worst 5 1/2 games off the pace on May 13.