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FRIDAY HALOLINKS: John Lackey Continues Surge

Up next for Angels: Friday vs. Chicago White Sox --
Joe Saunders vs. Gavin Floyd

Game Wrapup -
John Lackey continued his late-season surge, his first shutout of the season giving him three successive outstanding outings. Torii Hunter connected for his 20th home run, a two-run shot in the fourth, and the Angels lead the West by five.

White Sox-Angels Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Saunders (12-7, 4.97 ERA) has won all three of his outings since an August stint on the disabled list, compiling a 2.08 ERA in those games. He allowed 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings Sunday at Kansas City but minimized the damage in the Angels' 7-2 victory. He'll try to do better against the White Sox, who have a .167 average against Saunders in four meetings since the start of 2007. The southpaw lost to Chicago on May 26 despite a quality start, but he's 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four outings against the White Sox.

Team Reports -
RHP John Lackey's five-hitter Thursday was the eighth shutout of his career. Half of those have come against the Mariners, including each of his past three. Lackey has allowed just one earned run in 26 innings over his past three starts. Lackey is the first Angels pitcher since Kelvim Escobar in 2006 to go at least eight innings in three consecutive starts.

Team Reports II -
"Where they are right now, this is the best rotation we've had, and that's saying something when you're talking about the way Bartolo Colon was throwing the ball in '05 and having (Kelvim) Escobar and John Lackey," Scioscia said. "Where guys are right now, this is the deepest rotation we've had."

Video highlights from last night's game:

Lackey gets his first shutout of the season -
Daily Recap: John Lackey pitched his eighth career shutout and fourth against the Mariners while striking out seven

Angels Extra: Lackey continues to dominate - takes an in-depth look at how John Lackey continues to impress as he silences the Mariners for his eighth career shutout

Hunter homers to put the Angels on top -
Torii Hunter hammers his 20th homer of the season, a two-run shot that opens up the scoring for the Angels in the fourth

Morales takes a hit away from Griffey -
Ken Griffey Jr. has a hit taken away by Kendry Morales at first base, who makes the heads-up play

Angels' Hunter wins Branch Rickey Award - FOX Sports on MSN
"It means a lot," Hunter said. "That's something that you should do, whenever you can. My grandmother always instilled in me to treat people like you should be treated, and if you can do anything to make people's lives better, you've got to do it. That's part of your responsibility as a human being, and especially as a ballplayer."

Morales shouldn't bat sixth - Angels Unplugged - Los Angeles Times
Kendry Morales shouldn't be hitting sixth in anybody's lineup. He certainly shouldn't be batting that far down for the Angels.

Short Hops: Nothin' old school about Fielder-sparked celebration - Baseball
(within the Fielder article, there was this tidbit of Angels information)
Faced with losing Mark Teixeira to free agency last winter, the Angels set their sights last November on San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, only to be rebuffed. Their hope was to replace Teixeira at first with Gonazalez and use Kendry Morales in their outfield mix. Now? "They damn sure ain't going to be asking about Gonzalez this winter," says one major league executive. All Morales has done is play himself into Most Valuable Player conversations this summer, batting .310 with 30 homers (eighth in the AL) and 95 RBI (sixth).

Angels will have some economic decisions to make --
The Angels concluded two days of organizational meetings Thursday, assessing the current state of the team and discussing what they need to accomplish this off-season. "I have an understanding of where we'll end up financially. And that's about it," said Reagins, who chose to keep that understanding to himself.

Kendrick has great admiration for Jeter -
Jeter approached Kendrick during his 2006 rookie year for the first time, making sure to deliver a message along with a compliment. "I was on second base," Kendrick recalled, "and he came over and said, 'If you played us 162 games, you'd hit over .500.' I've had some success against the Yankees; that's a team I've enjoyed playing against. "Anyway, he asked me how I was doing. Then he said, 'No matter what happens, stay positive.' Then he said it again. From that day on, he'd come over and talk to me like I was a veteran, a peer."

Love or hate the Yankees, Jeter sounds like a classy guy.

September 11 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on September 11.
1963 - Angel's pitcher Aubrey Gatewood beats the Red Sox 4 - 1 for his first ML win. Gatewood was drafted by the Angels in the 1960 American League expansion draft, then drafted by the Mets a year later in the National League draft.
2001 - All major league baseball games are canceled due to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Flight #93, and the Pentagon. Games will not resume until Monday September 17. The Blue Jays take a 12-hour bus ride from Baltimore back to Toronto, and Yankee Stadium is evacuated as a precautionary measure. Former minor league players Marty Boryczewski and Brent Woodall were killed in the attacks.

Angels Magic Number: 19