Los Angeles (64-70) at Kansas City (70-62)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 64° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 29, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In just four starts, Jimmy Gobble has gone from poised rookie to lost novice.

Locked in a three-team race for the AL Central title, the Kansas City Royals hope Gobble can rediscover his form as they open a three-game series against the Anaheim Angels at Kauffman Stadium.

Called up from Double-A Wichita on Aug. 2 when Jose Lima made his first trip to the disabled list with a groin injury, Gobble won his first two starts, both against Tampa Bay, allowing just one run over 12 1-3 innings.

However, the 22-year-old left-hander hasn’t won since, getting pounded for 13 runs and 19 hits over just 7 1-3 innings. Gobble was reached for eight runs and 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings in an 8-7 loss to the New York Yankees on Aug. 20.

However, the rookie says he has what it takes to be successful in the majors.

“I feel I can pitch here,” Gobble said. “I just have to stay within myself and do the things that got me here.”

The Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with Thursday’s 6-5, 11-inning victory. Mike Sweeney ended the game with an RBI single that scored Joe Randa.

Kansas City moved into a tie atop the division with the Chicago White Sox, who fell 7-5 to the Yankees Thursday. Third-place Minnesota climbed to within 1 1/2 games of the division leaders with Thursday’s 6-1 win over Anaheim.

The Angels have lost three of four. In the loss to the Twins, Jeff DaVanon had three hits and Garret Anderson drove in the only run for the reigning world champions, who had won nine of 13 before their current slide.

STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 15 GB, AL West. Royals - 1st place (tied), AL Central.

ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Jarrod Washburn (9-12, 4.48 ERA). Washburn is 0-1 with a 4.29 ERA over his last three starts. The left-hander didn’t receive a decision in Anaheim’s 14-8, 10-inning win over Detroit on Saturday, allowing five runs and three hits, including two homers, over six innings. Washburn is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in seven career starts against Kansas City.

ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Gobble (2-2, 6.41 ERA). Gobble went 12-8 with a 3.19 ERA for Wichita before his Aug. 3 major league debut. He is making his first career start against Anaheim.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Anderson, .323 avg., 27 HRs and 110 RBIs; Tim Salmon, 68 runs; Adam Kennedy, 18 SBs. Royals - Carlos Beltran, .302 avg., 21 HRs, 82 RBIs, 79 runs and 30 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Angels, 2-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - LHP Washburn has allowed 31 home runs this season, making him only the second lefty in Angels history to give up at least 30. The other was Allen Watson, who surrendered 37 in 1997. … OF Anderson is second in the AL with 110 RBIs, nine fewer than Toronto’s Carlos Delgado. The only player in Angels history to win the league’s RBI title was Don Baylor, with 139 in 1979. Royals - OF Beltran is hitting .385 (20-for-52) over his last 14 games with four homers and 14 RBIs. … 3B Randa is hitting .374 (34-for-91) with two homers and 14 RBIs in August.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 26-39 on the road; Royals - 37-30 at home.

INJURIES: Angels - SS David Eckstein (hamstring), 15-day DL; DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL. Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Appier (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Lima (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Runelvys Hernandez (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Washburn Det vs. J. Gobble Col
10-15 Record 4-5
4.43 ERA 4.61
118 K 31
54 BB 15
1.25 WHIP 1.35