Angels 5, Royals 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Paul Byrd is going to go ahead and call it a two-hitter.
“The first hit didn’t count,” he said.
He’s right. It didn’t.
Byrd wound up with a career-best two-hitter Friday night, facing only one batter over the minimum and getting a boost from a Kansas City blunder in the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-0 victory over the Royals.
While improving to 48-31, their best start after 79 games, the Angels capitalized on a bizarre and embarrassing mistake by the Royals, who delivered the wrong lineup card to umpires.
So when David DeJesus singled leading off and Angel Berroa approached the plate to bat second, Angels manager Mike Scioscia alertly hopped out of the dugout and spoke to home plate umpire Jerry Crawford.
The umpires called time and huddled a few minutes, then Berroa was called out and DeJesus was required to bat again. He flied out, and the Royals did not have another hit until Matt Stairs singled leading off the fifth—only to be erased on an inning-ending double play.
“Once that happened and I got a few double plays I thought, `Yeah, this one’s going my way,”’ Byrd said with a grin.
Royals manager Buddy Bell took full blame.
“Checking the lineup card doesn’t take much energy to do,” he said. “The bottom line is, I didn’t double-check the official lineup card with the card on the (dugout) wall. It’s totally, totally my responsibility. It was inexcusable and irresponsible.”
A double play also erased the runner in the third when Byrd issued his only walk. The only other baserunner was Byrd’s old friend, Mike Sweeney, who doubled down the right-field line in the seventh.
“Paul Byrd was one of my favorite teammates,” Sweeney said. “He pitched for us hurt. Tonight, he wasn’t throwing 95 mph, but he had a lot of heart and he was a warrior.”
Byrd struck out five in what he called his finest game ever. His parents, wife and children were all watching from the stands, as were a handful of students who had formed the “Byrd’s Nest” in left field when Byrd won 17 games in 2002 for a Royals team that lost 100.
“They were undercover since I’m pitching for another team now,” Byrd said. “They weren’t wearing their beaks and wings.”
Byrd benefited from some nice catches by Chone Figgins in center field.
“I gave up two hits, but let’s not forget the Royals hit the ball hard,” he said. “It just went to somebody when they hit it hard. Chone Figgins made some great plays.”
It was Byrd’s first shutout since 2002, when he beat the Angels for Kansas City. The Angels had not had a complete-game two-hitter since Ramon Ortiz against Boston on Aug. 3, 2000.
Runelvys Hernandez (5-9), who had won three in a row before losing to Colorado in his previous start, went 6 1-3 innings and was charged with five runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out six.
Vladimir Guerrero, who led the majors in June with a .443 average, singled home two runs in the seventh for a 5-0 lead for the Angels, who were coming off an 18-5 loss in which Texas hit eight home runs.
With two outs in the sixth, Garret Anderson doubled and scored when Juan Rivera followed with a two-base hit just inches above the outstretched glove of third baseman Mark Teahen. Macier Izturis then made it three straight doubles for a 3-0 lead.
DeJesus said he got to first base after singling in the first and “had no clue” what was going on when umpires called him back.
“That’s never happened to me,” he said. “You know, we had the momentum going. But these things happen.”
Molina had three singles.
The Angels’ three announced starters for this series—Byrd, Bartolo Colon and Jarrod Washburn—are a combined 22-12. The Royals’ trio of Hernandez, Jose Lima and Zack Greinke is 7-24. … The Royals were starting a 10-game homestand after a 1-8 road trip. … Byrd’s 17 wins for the Royals in 2002 were the most in 51 years by a pitcher with a team that lost 100 games. … The Angels put Robb Quinlan on the 15-day disabled list Friday after tests indicated a mild disc bulge in his neck and inflammation in his left shoulder. They brought up RHP Kevin Gregg from Triple-A Salt Lake. … Emil Brown’s career-best hitting streak was stopped at 16 games.