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Category: Kansas City Royals

Angels get creative with lineup choices

When Angels' right-hander Joel Pineiro goes for his 100th career victory Tuesday in Kansas City, he might not recognize some of the guys in the lineup with him. Or at least not where they're positioned.

With left-hander Jeff Francis pitching for the Royals, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia elected to go with little-used Bobby Wilson -- who hasn't batted since May 20 and has just eight at-bats since mid-April --  as his DH, marking the first time he's started a major league game at any position but catcher. And with regular catcher Jeff Mathis also starting, Tuesday's game marks the first time both Mathis and Wilson have been in the same starting lineup.

Alberto Callaspo and his .306 batting have been elevated to the cleanup role, one spot ahead of Mark Trumbo, who has homered in his last two games. That marks the highest Trumbo has batted in the Angels lineup. And behind him is Peter Bourjos, batting sixth for the first time as a big-leaguer.

Bobby Abreu, who had four hits Monday, is out of the lineup, replaced in left field by Reggie Willits.

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Torii Hunter makes it a memorable Memorial Day for Angels

Torii-hunter_350 It was a memorable Memorial Day for the Angels' Torii Hunter, whose two-run home run in the ninth inning capped a wild comeback and gave the Angels a 10-8 win over the Kansas City Royals.

The two-run shot to left-center field, Hunter's second in as many at-bats, scored Bobby Abreu, giving him 1,000 runs batted in for his career and capping a wild game that saw the momentum swing back and forth, with the Angels scoring six runs in their final three at-bats.

The Angels had led just once before the ninth inning, with Maicer Izturis accounting for that run when was hit by a pitch, took second on a sacrifice and scored on Abreu’s single three batters into the game.

Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana gave the run right back on the first pitch he threw, though, with Alex Gordon homering to straightaway center field. Santana then walked Melky Cabrera on four pitches before giving up a two-run homer on the first pitch to Eric Hosmer.

In the second inning, Santana loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a hit batter. Hosmer doubled in two of those runners and Jeff Francoeur followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.

That left the Angels with a big hill to climb and they got started in their next at-bat, with Abreu driving in one run with a double and Alberto Callaspo knocking in another with a single. Consecutive two-out hits by Abreu, Hunter and Callaspo in the fifth inning closed the Angels deficit to 6-4 and when Hunter hit a two-out solo homer his next time up in the seventh inning, the Angels had pulled to within a run again.

Santana, meanwhile, settled down after the second inning, allowing only four baserunners. And though he retired the side in order just once, in his final inning, he did make it to the seventh, saving a tired bullpen.

But if Santana was finished, the Royals clearly weren't, pulling away again in the seventh against Rich Thompson when Wilson Betemit tripled home Billy Butler with two outs, then scored on a Chris Getz single.

And so it was the Angels' turn to rally, with Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos both going deep in the eighth inning -- Trumbo's team-leading 10th home run a 435-foot blast into the fountains beyond the lower level of the left-field grandstands and Bourjos lining his third homer of the season just under the left-field foul pole.

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Angels fall again in Royals' final at-bat

Angels1_375 Matt Treanor's three-run home run  with two outs in the 13th inning lifted the Kansas City Royals to a 12-9 victory over the Angels on Sunday.

The win was the Royals' second walk-off victory in three days and the third in their final at-bat.

Chris Getz, who drove in the winning run in the eighth inning Saturday, started the winning rally Sunday by lining a ball down the right-field line that first baseman Mark Trumbo smothered. But pitcher Jason Bulger bobbled the throw at first base and Getz was safe on an error. Getz then stole second base -- the Royals' sixth steal in as many tries against Jeff Mathis -- and moved to third on a groundout before being retired in a rundown for the second out. Treanor then followed with the game-winning home run.

All three runs against Bulger were unearned.

The Royals' third final at-bat victory erased a 19-hit Angels attack that included five home runs and a five-for-five day from Bobby Abreu, the third five-hit game of his career.

Twice the Angels rallied from deficits to take a two-run lead into the ninth inning with closer Fernando Rodney on the mound. But Rodney blew the save, walking three of the first four hitters he faced before surrendering a two-run double to Jeff Francoeur to send the game into extra innings.

For most of Sunday extra innings hardly seemed likely, with the Royals jumping on Scott Kazmir to take a 5-0 lead in the second.

But Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick brought the Angels back, homering on consecutive pitches to start the third. Back-to-back doubles by Alberto Callaspo and Trumbo led to two more runs in the fourth.

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Bullpen lets Angels down again

Torii-hunter_350 The Angels' bullpen woes continued Saturday when Kevin Jepsen failed to protect an eighth-inning lead in a 5-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Jepsen gave up two runs and four hits, the final two run-scoring singles by Matt Treanor and Chris Getz. Royals closer Joakim Soria then came on to retire the side in order in the top of the ninth to earn the save.

The Angels' third bullpen meltdown in as many days wasted an 11-hit offensive attack led by Torii Hunter, who slugged his second long home run of the season. All nine Angels' batters reached base at least once.

Hunter got the offense started with a one-out homer to left in the fourth inning, giving the Angels their first run in 12 innings. The blast, which bounced off the facing of the second deck above the left-field fountains, was estimated to have traveled 437 feet.

The Royals answered with two runs in the fifth, the first scoring on Getz's infield grounder and the second on a fielder's choice. But the Angels retook the lead an inning later on run-scoring singles by Vernon Wells and Alberto Callaspo and a fielder's choice grounder.

That looked to be enough support for a shaky Ervin Santana, who gave the Royals their third run when he bounced a two-strike, two-out pitch to Jeff Francoeur in the sixth, allowing Billy Butler to score from third when the wild pitch got past catcher Bobby Wilson. Santana, who struck out six in 6 2/3 innings, was also bailed out by center fielder Peter Bourjos, who saved two runs with a splendid over-the-shoulder catch on the run in the seventh.

That would be the last out Santana would get, though. And after Hisanori Takahashi came out to end the threat, striking out Alex Gordon with the tying run in scoring position, the Angels' luck ran out after they turned to Jepsen to start the eighth. With one out, two on and the Angels still leading 4-3, Wilson Betemit hit a ball up the middle that second baseman Maicer Izturis made a diving stop. He flipped the ball to shortstop Erick Aybar coming across the bag for the second out but Aybar's throw to first was high, keeping the inning alive for Treanor and Getz.

-- Kevin Baxter, reporting Kansas City, Mo.

Photo: Angels right fielder Torii Hunter watches his solo home run in the fourth inning Saturday at Kansas City. Credit: Orlin Wagner / Associated Press

Treanor finally gets chance to impress Royals

Eighteen years after drafting catcher Matt Treanor out of Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High, the Royals finally got their first look at him in a Kansas City uniform this week.

And for Treanor, who was traded away in 1997, beginning an odyssey that would see him spend time with five big league organizations, it was almost like a dream come true.

“I feel like I left immature -- almost like I didn’t fulfill my end of the bargain,” said Treanor, who batted .227 in four seasons in the Royals’ minor league system. “So to be able to come back and do whatever I can is fulfilling in a way.”

Treanor’s biggest sports-related claim to fame may be his marriage to two-time Olympic volleyball champion Misty MayTreanor. But the 35-year-old, traded to Kansas City in the final week of spring training, also homered off the Yankees’ CC Sabathia in the last year’s playoffs and played in the World Series for Texas.

In his Royals debut Thursday he saved a run in the eighth inning when he blocked the plate on the Angels’ Jeff Mathis, who bowled over his fellow catcher -– earning Mathis’ respect.

“When he came to the plate I told him ‘good play,’” Mathis said.

-- Kevin Baxter in Kansas City, Mo.

Photo: Kansas City catcher Matt Treanor, right, collides with the Angels' Jeff Mathis during the eighth inning of Thursday's game. Mathis was out on the play. Credit: Ed Zurga / Associated Press


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