The Royals slumped in August and fell out of first place in the AL Central. Fortunately for Kansas City, no team has emerged in the division, and it is just 1 1/2 games out of first.
The Royals have won two of three, including a 5-0 victory Friday over Anaheim in the first game of the four-game series. Left-hander Brian Anderson pitched a seven-hitter for his first shutout in more than four years.
Royals manager Tony Pena clearly was pleased by Anderson’s ninth career complete game.
“I knew what we got when we got Brian Anderson,” Pena said. “We know this guy is going to compete and he’s going to give us a lot of quality innings. That’s why we went out and got him.”
May has won three of his last four decisions. The southpaw is 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA in four appearances lifetime against Anaheim.
Wright will be making his first start for Kansas City since the Royals purchased his contract from Triple-A Omaha on Friday. The right-hander was 3-5 with a 3.64 ERA in 13 starts for Omaha. He will be Kansas City’s 15th starter this season.
The Angels have lost three straight to fall 16 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West.
Anaheim, which has been beset by injuries all year, placed catcher Bengie Molina on the 60-day disabled list on Friday.
Molina had surgery Thursday to repair two broken bones in his left wrist, one day after being injured in a home-plate collision in Minnesota.
Molina, who hit a career-high 14 homers this season and tied his personal bests with a .281 average and 71 RBIs, is expected to be ready for spring training.
STANDINGS: Royals - 3rd place, 1 1/2 GB, AL Central. Angels - 3rd place, 16 1/2 GB, AL West.
ROYALS GAME ONE PROBABLE STARTER: May (8-7, 3.59 ERA). May yielded three runs and four hits over six innings in a 7-3 loss to Texas on Monday.
ANGELS GAME ONE PROBABLE STARTER: Scot Shields (4-4, 2.79 ERA). Shields is 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA over his last six starts. The converted reliever limited the Royals to three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 7-4 win on Sunday.
ROYALS GAME TWO PROBABLE STARTER: Wright (no record). Wright went 7-13 with a 5.57 ERA in 23 starts with Milwaukee and St. Louis last season.
ANGELS GAME TWO PROBABLE STARTER: Kevin Gregg (0-0, 4.32 ERA). The 25-year-old righty came on in relief on Tuesday and allowed three runs and four hits in 2 1-3 innings of a 12-6 loss to Minnesota. Gregg was 7-4 with 75 strikeouts and a 4.03 ERA in 91 2-3 innings at Triple-A Salt Lake.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Carlos Beltran, .305 avg., 21 HRs, 86 RBIs, 83 runs and 33 SBs. Angels - Garret Anderson, .317 avg., 29 HRs and 113 RBIs; Anderson and Tim Salmon, 71 runs; Adam Kennedy, 18 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - OF Raul Ibanez is hitless in his last 10 at bats. … 1B Mike Sweeney is batting .311 with two home runs and 21 RBIs in 26 games since coming off the disabled list with a back injury. … RHP Runelvys Hernandez underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery Friday. He was 7-5 with a 4.61 ERA in 16 starts after opening the season 4-0. Angels - SS Wilson Delgado is batting .462 (6-for-13) in four games with the Angels. … OF Anderson’s 44 doubles are good for second in the AL behind Aubrey Huff (45). … The Angels recalled C Tom Gregorio and RHP Chris Bootcheck from Salt Lake on Friday. Gregorio hit .221 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 54 games, while Bootcheck was 8-9 with a 4.25 ERA.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 35-34 on the road; Angels - 38-32 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Lima (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Appier (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Hernandez (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 60-day DL. Angels - C Molina (wrist), 60-day DL; SS David Eckstein (hamstring), 15-day DL; 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL; 1B-DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 60-day DL.