ANAHEIM -- Vladimir Guerrero is obviously a huge part of the Angels offense.

How manager Mike Scioscia used him on Friday night played a huge role in how the Angels were able to pull away to a 4-1 victory. Scioscia made two critical decisions on Guerrero that don't often come up when dealing with a cleanup hitter in a playoff game.

Vlad: hit-and-run specialist
The situation:
The Angels trailed, 1-0, in the fourth with one out, Bobby Abreu on first and Guerrero at the plate against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.


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The decision: Scioscia, trying to manufacture a run, had Abreu running on an 0-1 pitch to Guerrero, who bounced a single through the right side. Abreu went to third on the play.

The outcome: Kendry Morales brought home the Angels first run with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The analysis: "We've been getting on a little bit more, and putting some guys in motion. Tonight it paid off for us. When you're facing a good pitcher like Beckett, you're not going to rely solely on batter's box offense." -- Scioscia

Now running for Vlad ...
The situation:
Guerrero worked a leadoff walk in the seventh inning in a 1-1 game against Beckett.


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The decision: Scioscia, trying to get a lead, inserted infielder Howard Kendrick in as a pinch-runner. Kendrick, who shares second-base duties with Maicer Izturis, had 11 stolen bases during the regular season.

The outcome: Kendrick, after Morales flied to left, did steal second. Juan Rivera grounded out but Izturis lined a single up the middle to put the Angels ahead.

The analysis: "There's a lot of things to weigh right there. But I felt it was a great opportunity to at least get a guy in scoring position, maybe get a run there, and get a run up going into the eighth inning." -- Scioscia.

How far with Beckett?
The situation:
Izturis' single gave the Angels a 2-1 lead and Beckett appeared to be laboring. Veteran left-hander Billy Wagner was warming up in the bullpen for the Red Sox.


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The decision: Red Sox manager Terry Francona decided to stay with Beckett, who then hit Mike Napoli with a pitch, rather than bring in Wagner. Beckett hit Napoli with his 99th pitch of the night and 24th of the inning.

The outcome: Erick Aybar, who already had one hit off Beckett, slammed a two-run triple over the head of outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to chase home two runs.

The analysis: He's thrown a three-or-four hitter going into that inning. No, I didn't think he was tired. We had Wagner up for (Chone) Figgins, which we ended up going to anyway, but up to that point we were staying with Josh.