Los Angeles looks to win its fourth straight Tuesday night when it faces a Kansas City Royals team trying to get its offense back on track.
Mobbed by teammates after he hit a walk-off grand slam in Saturday’s 5-1, 10-inning victory over Seattle, Morales, the team leader with 11 homers and 39 RBIs, suffered a broken leg when he landed on home plate.
With the first baseman possibly sidelined for the rest of the season, manager Mike Scioscia is looking for others to produce. In Monday’s 7-1 win over Kansas City (21-31), the Angels’ 7-8-9 hitters provided the spark, going a combined 6 for 10 with four RBIs.
Mike Napoli(notes) was 3 for 3 with his sixth homer in the last 12 games, Howie Kendrick(notes) drove in two runs, while Michael Ryan(notes), playing first base for the first time in his career, added a hit.
“I’m not asking them to be Superman, just get into their normal game,” said Scioscia, whose team has won 10 of 11 against Kansas City. “There’s been a lot of guys who haven’t been maybe as crisp as they can be and we got contributions from a lot of them.”
While the Angels (26-27) have hit eight homers and are averaging 7.0 runs during their three-game winning streak, the Royals have two runs in their last three games after recording a season-high 20 hits in Friday’s 12-5 victory at Boston.
“You’re going to run into good pitchers and if they are on their game you’re going to struggle, I don’t care who you are,” said manager Ned Yost, whose team is batting .194 during its three-game slide. “We’ve run into three pretty good pitchers. It looks like it’s a trend, but it’s really not.”
What is a pattern is Brian Bannister(notes) (4-3, 4.70 ERA) making a quality start. Despite matching a season high with nine hits allowed, the right-hander won his third straight outing in Thursday’s 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. Three relievers followed Bannister with three perfect innings.
“That’s how it’s supposed to look,” said Bannister, who is 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles. “I was able to give a quality start and some good arms came out of the ‘pen and did their job.”
Bannister will try to win four consecutive starts for the first time since Aug. 17-Sept. 2, 2007.
The right-hander was solid in his last outing, throwing six innings of two-hit ball in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over Toronto, but he walked three of his season-high four in the second inning as the Blue Jays scored three times.
“It’s weird, because I wasn’t getting hit around. It was just the walks,” Pineiro said. “(Catcher) Jeff Mathis(notes) was telling me: `What are you doing? The ball is moving so much.’ I couldn’t control it.”
Pineiro is 0-3 with a 6.31 ERA versus the Royals since winning his first four career starts against them.
Los Angeles has won 27 of 36 in Kansas City since the beginning of the 2002 season.