Finley won for the first time since June 30, allowing only three hits in seven innings as Anaheim beat the Chicago White Sox 9-0 on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak.
"I know they look at me to pitch well. I don't mind that," Finley said. "I can't try to do too much. That's when you get in trouble."
Finley (9-5) was 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his last six starts. He walked five and struck out four, raising his career total to 1,900 strikeouts.
Salmon was 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the Angels, who had lost seven of nine. Salmon hit an RBI single in the first, an RBI double in the third, and his 22nd homer in the fourth.
"There weren't a lot of happy campers around here this morning," Salmon said. "Right now, every game we don't win is a big game."
Finley gave up a single to Albert Belle as Chicago loaded the bases with two out in the first, but got Wil Cordero to fly out. Finley also gave up a single to Robin Ventura with two out in the third and a leadoff single to Ray Durham in the fifth.
"Getting out of that first inning was huge for us," Angels manager Terry Collins said.
Finley did not want to waste the early lead.
"I didn't want to get seven runs and end up giving up three or four," he said. "I wanted to pitch my game as if it were 1-0 or 2-0. That's how you train yourself. That's what I've done all year, keep the runs at a minimum and take what happens. You can't go pointing fingers at the offense. You've got to hold up your end of the deal."
James Baldwin (7-5) took the loss, ending his three-game winning streak. He gave up six runs on eight hits and one walk over 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since he returned to the rotation June 20.
"It was one of those days where you get your tail handed to you," Baldwin said.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first on Garret Anderson's run-scoring groundout and Salmon's RBI single.
With one out in the third, Anderson doubled and scored on Salmon's double. Jim Edmonds singled, driving in Salmon to make it 4-0. One out later, the Angels loaded the bases to chase Baldwin. Carlos Castillo then walked the next two batters he faced to force in two more runs.
Salmon homered in the fourth to open a 7-0 lead.
"Get him swinging and he's one guy who can put you on his back and carry you," Collins said.
Anaheim added two runs in the ninth on Troy Glaus' RBI single and Matt Walbeck's RBI double.
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