The diminutive rookie left-hander threw three innings of two-hit relief and got his first major league victory Sunday when Matt Treanor(notes) hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 13th inning to lift the Kansas City Royals over the Los Angeles Angels and their ineffective bullpen 12-9.
As soon as Collins got in the clubhouse, he was treated to a beer shower by teammates who had just beaten the Angels in their final at-bat for the third day in a row.
“They got me good,” said Collins, who had five strikeouts. “It was probably the best shower of my life. It was awesome.”
Treanor, who came over from Texas in the last week of spring training, drove a breaking ball from Jason Bulger(notes) (0-1), the eighth Angels pitcher, to left-center. All three runs were unearned because the first batter of the inning reached base on Bulger’s error trying to cover first base.
“We saw the ball flying a bit today,” Treanor said. “It’s good for us that ours was the last one hit. It was a battle, really.”
The five home runs were the most for Los Angeles in almost two years. Maicer Izturis(notes), Bobby Abreu(notes) and Alberto Callaspo(notes) also connected for the Angels, who slugged their way out of a 5-0 hole only to see their bullpen falter for the third day in a row. Abreu finished with five hits.
“We drove the ball well. It’s tough to blame anything that happened today on the offense,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We scored nine, but you know we had the opportunity to score more. We were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. That being said, the guys did a good job being down 5-0 and keep battling.”
Knowing the wind was gusting to around 45 mph, the Royals came out for early batting practice.
“The ball was really carrying,” manager Ned Yost said. “It doesn’t take away from the fact that we got too many pitches up and that they took advantage of it and drove balls out of the ballpark. But we did the same thing. It worked out in our favor.”
Kansas City tied it with two runs in the ninth off Fernando Rodney(notes), who started the inning and walked the bases full. With one out, Wilson Betemit(notes) doubled just in front of a sliding Vernon Wells(notes) in left-center, tying it at 9.
Kevin Jepsen(notes), shaky in his two other appearances in the series, walked Alcides Escobar(notes) but got Treanor to ground into a force at the plate and Mike Aviles(notes) to ground into a force at third.
The Royals took three of four in the season-opening series, winning the final three games in dramatic fashion.
Chris Getz(notes) hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Mark Trumbo(notes) leading off the 13th, but Bulger was charged with the game’s first error for not getting his foot on the bag to take Trumbo’s throw.
With two on, Treanor connected for the 59th game-ending homer in Royals history.
Kendrick, who had his third career multihomer game, went deep in the third and fifth. His next time up in the seventh he bunted safely and scored on Abreu’s two-run shot that put the Angels on top 7-6.
Michael Kohn(notes), who gave up Kila Ka’aihue’s(notes) game-winning home run Friday night, relieved Hisanori Takahashi(notes) with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and on his first pitch gave up an RBI double to Jeff Francoeur(notes) that tied it 7-all.
It was a brutal start for Scott Kazmir(notes), whose 15 losses last year were the second-highest total in the majors. In 1 2-3 innings, the Angels left-hander gave up five hits and five runs, hit two batters with pitches, committed a balk, issued two walks and allowed Cabrera’s solo home run.
“I never really found a rhythm,” Kazmir said. “There’s a lot of things I’m working on. I think it’s just a poor game.”
In the first three games of this series, Angels starters Jered Weaver(notes), Dan Haren(notes) and Ervin Santana(notes) had allowed only four earned runs in 20 innings while the bullpen failed twice to hold leads.
NOTES: Angels OF Torii Hunter(notes) tried to call the woman who was hit in the face Thursday when his bat shattered and flew into the stands. Sue Cooney, who sustained serious injuries to the right side of her face, was not able to come to the phone but Hunter asked her brother to pass along his wish that she have a speedy recovery. … INF Erick Aybar(notes) was a late scratch for the Angels with tightness on his left side. He was replaced by Callaspo in the lineup. … Abreu was doubled off first in the third inning after Wells flied out to shallow center.