John Lackey hopes all his good work in July won’t go to waste in August.
Lackey, 5-8 with a 5.02 ERA at the end of June, was brilliant last month. He went 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA in five July starts, including an 8 1-3-inning, two-hit masterpiece in a 2-0 victory over Texas on July 28. But the right-hander unraveled quickly in Tuesday’s 10-0 loss at Minnesota, yielding seven runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings, striking out six and walking two. Lackey had allowed two runs or fewer in all but one of his previous eight starts.
“I’m only disappointed by about three pitches all night,” Lackey said. “The two homers, and the last pitch to (Shannon) Stewart I left up. Other than that, I thought I threw the ball pretty decent.”
The Angels have taken the first two games from the Royals, including a 7-5 win Saturday, and have won six of eight overall to move within 1 1/2 games of first-place Oakland in the AL West. Anaheim is just a half-game back of Texas for the wild card.
Bartolo Colon won his sixth straight start and Darin Erstad drove in three runs Saturday as Anaheim improved to 3-2 on its seven-game road trip. Troy Percival pitched out of a jam in the ninth for his 20th save in 25 chances, making him the sixth pitcher with nine straight seasons of 20 or more saves.
Ken Harvey went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Royals, who had won four of five before the Angels came to Kansas City.