KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Exactly what brought Garret Anderson out of a frightful early-season slump and put him on a power surge remains a mystery.
“You just wouldn’t understand,” Anderson politely but firmly told reporters Tuesday night after driving in every run in the California Angels’ 5-3 victory over Kansas City.
“It would be very hard to explain,” said Anderson. “But there was an adjustment, yeah. It would be very hard to explain it.”
After going almost two weeks without driving in a run, Anderson has two homers and seven RBIs in two games in Kansas City. He had a two-run shot Monday night and victimized Brian Bannister (3-4) for a three-run drive Tuesday that tied it 3-all in the fourth.
Then he made it 4-3 with an RBI single in the fifth and 5-3 with a second RBI single in the seventh when Royals manager Trey Hillman inexplicably let Bannister pitch to him one more time.
Anderson did say the adjustment was not mechanical.
So did something suddenly just “click?”
“You wouldn’t understand,” repeated the 14-year veteran who holds Angels records for RBIs, games and hits. “You just wouldn’t understand. It’s not a personal attack.”
Vladimir Guerrero tripled, doubled and walked and scored two runs for the Angels, who went to a season-best nine games over .500 with their major league-leading 12th road victory.
Nick Adenhart went 4 1-3 innings in his second major league start and gave up three runs and six hits. He walked five. The 21-year-old right-hander left several exasperated batters glowering at plate umpire Mike Everitt, who called three third strikes and appeared to be giving the rookie right-hander a generous portion of both the inside and outside corner of the plate.
Adenhart was lifted after walking Billy Butler and Alex Gordon with one out in the fifth and the bullpen proceeded to shut down the American League’s poorest-scoring offense, preserving the Angels’ sixth win in eight games.
“He’s still feeling for some things. He’s not settled in yet,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Adenhart. “But it was definitely a start in the right direction.”
Darren Oliver (2-1) struck out Mark Teahen and Miguel Olivo to end the fifth and got the victory with 1 2-3 innings of relief, getting five outs on only 15 pitches. Francisco Rodriguez, the fifth Angel pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
“Tonight we needed all of them and they responded very well,” said Scioscia.
It was the second straight rough outing for Bannister (3-4), who yielded 13 of the Angels’ 15 hits and all five runs in 6 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
“That game was pretty simple,” said Bannister. “They were better with runners in scoring position and by `they,’ Garret Anderson all my himself. Garret jumped me a couple of times and that was the difference in the game.”
Anderson was so hot, he was hitting Bannister even when he wasn’t supposed to.
“That last at-bat, I was trying to pitch around him,” said Bannister. “The last pitch I was trying to buzz him up and in because he was seeing me real well. And he still managed to jam himself and still get a hit.”
The Royals took a 3-0 lead off Adenhart on back-to-back RBI doubles by Olivo and Ross Gload in the second and Alex Gordon’s RBI double in the third.
Kansas City, which came into the game with an AL-low 107 runs, loaded the bases against Justin Speier with one out in the seventh on two singles and a walk. But Mark Teahen struck out, making him 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, and Olivo popped up.
“When you got the bases loaded and you strike out, you’re not even giving yourself a chance in situations like those,” said Royals manager Trey Hillman. “Obviously, we didn’t hit with runners in scoring position. I thought it was going to be a good night, getting off to the lead. They got back in it in a hurry and then took the lead.”
The four-game streak is the Angels’ longest of the year. They are 20-2 when leading after seven innings. … Jeff Mathis was the only Angels player not to collect a hit … Ten of Olivo’s 16 hits have gone for extra bases, six doubles and four home runs. … Alberto Callaspo played shortstop for the Royals, giving slumping Tony Pena Jr. a rest, and has reached base in all 10 of his starts.