AL West in Review

Oakland and Anaheim raced to the lead in the first week of the marathon Major League baseball season. Texas showed signs of improvement from years past with quality wins over both the Angels and Athletics. And Seattle, well, we know what they did. Get the full update from InsidethePark.com's Richie Stone.

Anaheim Angels (4-2) - tied for first place
The new look Angels looked like two different teams in a week that saw them play six games on the road. They started off on the right foot with a sweep of the Seattle Mariners to start the season. New acquisition Bartolo Colon pitched an outstanding game one. He went six shut out innings to get his first win with the Angels. Jarrod Washburn and Scot Shields got the wins in the other two games. The Angels then ran into the brick wall known as the Texas Rangers. (It must be a new season) Texas took the first two games of the series before the Angels brought back Bartolo Colon on Sunday, when the flame-throwing righty recorded his second win of the season against the Rangers. The offensive stars of the week for Anaheim were 3B Troy Glaus and new Angel RF Vladimir Guerrero. Glaus had three home runs and five RBI to go along with his .391 batting average. Guerrero had two home runs and six RBI in his first week as an Angel, and sported a .320 average.

Oakland Athletics (4-2) - tied for first place
Oakland started off their season surprisingly well. The A's, notorious for slow starts, took two out of three in both of their series'. Mark Mulder and Chad Bradford both picked up wins in the opening series against Texas. Jermaine Dye had a big series against Texas as well with two home runs and five RBI. The A's then hosted the Mariners for the weekend series. Oakland took game one with Chris Hammond recording the win in relief. On Saturday, the Bay Area Bombers got a complete-game from Tim Hudson, which was the first complete-game of the season in Major League Baseball. Oakland then lead on Easter Sunday, appearing to have the game in their grasp with a two-run lead, until the 9th inning when new closer Arthur Rhodes gave up two runs to tie the game. The Mariners then won in the 10th with a five-run outburst, leaving Chris Hammond with the loss. Eric Chavez was had a homer in the game, his first of the season.

Seattle Mariners (1-5) - fourth place
The Mariners had one of their worst opening weeks in recent history. They started 0-5 before getting their first win on Sunday against Oakland. The Mariners were swept out of town in Seattle by Anaheim in the opening series, then went south to Oakland to take on the defending division champs. Oakland took the first two games from the M's. Seattle lost an offensive battle 8-6 to the division rivals on Friday and then fell to the superb pitching of Tim Hudson a day later. And just when it seemed like the M's were going to make it an 0-6 week, their offense finally came through in a key situation. It was the first time all week the offense had, leading to the come-from-behind win off of former M's set-up man Arthur Rhodes. Even though it was only one win the M's still have a positive performance to build on for the upcoming week. Bret Boone led the team in home runs, hitting the only two for a Seattle team that is last in the Majors in the department. New shortstop Rich Aurillia, while struggling in the field, lead the team in RBI with seven. In the average department, Ichiro Suzuki had the highest one among everyday players at .333. No surprise there. The strongest pitching performance was that of Freddy Garcia, who pitched seven strong innings of shutout baseball on Thursday against the Angels before the duo of Mike Myers and Shigetoshi Hasegawa blew the M's 1-0 lead in the ninth and left The Chief a no-decision.

Texas Rangers (3-3) - third place
Don't look now but the Texas Rangers are playing .500 baseball. Sure it is only the first week of the season, but surely Buck's boys will take what they can get in the post-AROD Texas. The first series was rough when they went to California to take on Oakland, as the A's took the first two games from Texas, 5-4 and 3-1. Texas went on to take game three from Oakland and headed home to play the 3-0 Anaheim Angels. The Rangers then surprised everyone by taking two of three from the division favorites. R.A. Dickey's first start of the season came against Anaheim, Dickey silenced their bats for seven shutout innings. Michael Teixeira had the best offensive performance with two home runs and seven RBI. Hank Blaylock, another young slugger, took a while to get going but saw his bat heat up late in the week, a welcome sign for Rangers fans.

Pitcher of the Week
Bartolo Colon-Anaheim Angels
Two wins and one earned run in two starts in the first week with his new team.

Player of the Week
Troy Glaus-Anaheim Angels
Three homers, five RBI and a .391 average.

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