Angels 5, Royals 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The second comeback was just as much fun as the first for the Anaheim Angels.
The Angels overcame a ninth-inning deficit for the second night in a row and extended their winning streak to five. They also completed their first four-game sweep in Kansas City.
“It’s kind of funny, yesterday before the game, they were showing last at-bat wins and it seemed like we hadn’t had one of those in a while. Now we’ve had two in a row,” Robb Quinlan said. “We don’t ever feel like we’re out of it. When we get guys on late in the game, it just feels like good things are going to happen.”
The Angels scored three times in the ninth Sunday night to win 6-4.
“This is awesome. You can’t ask for better wins,” Quinlan said.
But Quinlan and pinch-hitter Tim Salmon singled to start the inning against Jaime Cerda (1-2). One out later, a wild pitch allowed the runners to advance. David Eckstein walked to load the bases, and Chone Figgins’ RBI single cut it to 3-2.
With the infield drawn in, Vladimir Guerrero hit a grounder to second. Gotay threw low to the plate and the ball skipped past catcher John Buck all the way to the backstop. Two more runs scored for a 5-3 Angels lead.
“From the team aspect, this means we never give up, no matter what the score is or what the inning is,” Figgins said. “Nobody gives up on this team. Anything can happen and we’ve shown that the last couple of nights. You put a couple of runners on and make the pitcher work, and you can make some things happen.”
For Kansas City manager Tony Pena, whose team fell to 39-71, the worst record in the American League, it was a bitter loss.
“This one was very tough to swallow,” Pena said. “You had the game where you wanted it to be going into the ninth. We just are having a tough time closing it out right now.”
The Angels remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West and took a one-game lead over Texas and Boston in the wild-card race.
Anderson gave up seven hits and one unearned run. He walked one and struck out four, his second consecutive stellar outing. He was coming off a two-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox.
The Angels got an unearned run in the seventh on Jose Molina’s RBI groundout.
Quinlan extended his hitting streak to 20 games with an infield single in the seventh, an Angels rookie record and the longest active streak in the major leagues.
The Royals got a run in the first, but missed out on a chance to score more. Ken Harvey hit into a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded and none out. David DeJesus, who led off with a single, scored on the play. Abraham Nunez lined out to end the inning.
Kansas City added a run in the second on Brown’s home run to center.
The longest hitting streak by an AL rookie was 30 games by Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra in 1997. The major league record belongs to Benito Santiago, who hit in 34 straight as a rookie with San Diego in 1987. … DeJesus extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games with a first-inning single.