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Angels win eighth straight

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Los Angeles Angels keep getting strong starting pitching and keep winning.

Jerome Williams pitched six solid innings and J.B. Shuck had three hits and drove in two runs as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Sunday to win their eighth straight game.

The Royals are streaking the other way, losing a season-worst five straight and nine of 10 to fall five games below .500.

Josh Hamilton's eighth home run ignited a three-run seventh. Shuck singled home runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

"J.B. is playing at an incredible level," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's setting the table in the No. 9 hole and playing left field virtually every day. He's doing a lot of things well for us and helped to fill a void when Peter (Bourjos, hamstring injury) left and other guys have been struggling. He got some big hits today."

The Angels' starters have a 1.90 ERA during the winning streak.

Williams, who was making his fifth start after beginning the season in the Angels bullpen, limited the Royals to two runs and seven hits in six innings to pick up the victory.

"What are you talking about a potential loss," Williams said of the early deficit. "I was down 2-0, but we've got bats. I wasn't worried about that. I was worried about these guys trying to get back in the dugout and swing the bat."

Angels reliever Sean Burnett, who replaced Williams in the seventh, threw only 10 pitches before being led off the mound by a trainer with left forearm tightness. Burnett came off the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 22 games with left forearm irritation.

"We'll see where it's at in 24 hours," Scioscia said.

Wade Davis, who took the loss, gave up three runs, six hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. Davis had held the Angels scoreless the first six innings with no walks and six strikeouts.

"He threw the ball great," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The first six innings were as good as he's been all year. He commanded the ball well and had good downhill action. After he gave up the homer in the seventh, his command started to waiver. The walks were costly because they came around to score."

Davis left with a 2-1 lead, but Bruce Chen yielded RBI singles to Shuck and Erick Aybar on his first two pitches.

Chris Iannetta and Shuck had run-producing singles in the eighth to stretch the Angels' lead.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the second when Lorenzo Cain scored on rookie David Lough's triple.

Kansas City added a run in the fifth when George Kottaras walked with one out and stole second, his third career steal. Kottaras advanced to third on Alcides Escobar's infield single and scored on Williams' throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base.

Ernest Frieri worked around a walk and Escobar's third infield single to lead off the ninth before logging his 10th save.

"He battled," Scioscia said. "A leadoff walk, obviously, that's not the way you draw it up. They had some terrific at-bats. All and all he got it done and made some pitches when he had to."

The Royals have lost eight straight home games.

"I'll remember our good start, and where we're at now," Yost said. "We're struggling like a son of a gun. We've got to get back to doing a nice job."

NOTES: RHP Jered Weaver threw in the bullpen on Sunday and will start Wednesday against the Dodgers, Scioscia said after the game....One day after throwing five scoreless innings to beat the Royals, RHP Billy Buckner was designated for assignment. RHP Kevin Jepsen, who had been on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, was activated. ...Royals DH Billy Butler was ejected in the sixth inning by plate umpire Marty Foster. It was Butler's second career ejection. ...A beekeeper was called to remove a bevy of the flying insects from the Angels dugout before the game.
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