Placed on a five-inning limit per outing since returning from offseason shoulder surgery, Sele stretched his scoreless streak to 10 innings with a 1-0 road victory over Mark Mulder and the Oakland Athletics on Friday. The right-hander gave up one hit in five innings after allowing just four in a 3-1 home victory over Los Angeles on June 29.
“I’m not doing anything different, I’m just happy to be pitching,” said Sele, who has averaged 78.5 pitches in his last two games. “I can throw as hard as I want. I just have to stay aggressive.”
Manager Mike Scioscia said Sele, a two-time All-Star, would be under the five-inning limit for at least one more start, but was pleased with his strides.
“It was encouraging today that he had enough in him to go six,” Scioscia said. “He came out of the game stronger than he was after five innings last time and he threw more pitches.”
After suffering a 4-0 loss in the opener Tuesday, the Angels bounced back with a 5-3 victory Wednesday.
Shawn Wooten hit a three-run homer for Anaheim, which won for the eighth time in 12 games.
The AL Central-leading Royals lost for only the second time in eight games, but it was their ninth in the last 11 trips to Edison Field.
STANDINGS: Royals - 1st place, AL Central. Angels - 3rd place, 10 1/2 GB, AL West.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Chris George (9-5, 7.00 ERA). The Royals have won five of George’s last six starts, including a 9-8 home victory over Detroit on Saturday. The left-hander gave up five earned runs and six hits over 4 2-3 innings. George is 0-1 over his last two starts, during which he has surrendered 15 earned runs and 17 hits in just 10 innings. In one career start against the Angels, he is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Sele (5-6, 5.70 ERA). Sele had lost his previous three starts before his current run. He is 7-9 all-time against the Royals with a 5.11 ERA in 22 starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Desi Relaford, .296 avg.; Michael Tucker, 13 HRs; Mike Sweeney and Raul Ibanez, 50 RBIs; Ibanez, 53 runs; Beltran, 23 SBs. Angels - Garret Anderson, .310 avg., 19 HRs and 72 RBIs; Troy Glaus, 50 runs; Adam Kennedy, 11 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - 1B Harvey is batting .357 (10-for-28) over his last seven games with a homer and six RBIs. … The Royals need to go 40-34 the rest of the way to break the major league record for most victories by any team after a 100-loss season, which is shared by the 1967 Cubs (87-74) and 1989 Orioles (87-75). … The only other times the Royals led their division at the break were 1976 and 1980—the year they won their first AL pennant. Angels - Third-time All-Star 3B Troy Glaus, who was elected by the fans to start in next Tuesday’s game, is the fifth consecutive World Series MVP to make it onto an All-Star roster the following season—tying the second-longest streak since the award was established in 1955. … Glaus played in his 750th career game at 3B for the Angels, breaking Doug DeCinces’ franchise record. … 1B Wooten came in batting 2-for-18 in his previous five games without an RBI.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 22-20 on the road; Angels - 25-20 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - INF Mendy Lopez (calf), 15-day DL; 1B Sweeney (back), 15-day DL; OF Dee Brown (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL. Angels - SS David Eckstein (arm), day-to-day; DH-1B Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Mickey Callaway (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL.