Angels Drop the Royals

April 30, 2007

AP - Apr 30, 9:26 pm EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero doubled home two runs in the first inning and John Lackey pitched into the seventh, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-1 victory over Kansas City on Monday night.

Reggie Willits and Orlando Cabrera hit one-out singles off Odalis Perez (2-3) and Guerrero, who has 23 RBIs in 24 games, doubled high off the wall in straightaway center, missing a homer by about 18 inches.

Lackey (4-2) went 6 1-3 innings, giving up eight hits and one run. He struck out seven and walked only one. Aided by a double play, he retired the Royals in the third, fourth and fifth innings on 32 pitches. In the sixth, he had runners at first and third but struck out Ross Gload to end the inning.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.

Perez went six innings, giving up three runs on 10 hits and a walk.

Ryan Shealy, hitting .096 and on an 0-for-9 streak, hit Lackey's 2-0 pitch for an RBI double in the second.

Then he was thrown out at the plate while trying to score from second on Tony Pena Jr.'s single. Shealy was immediately replaced at first by Ross Gload, and the Royals said later he had a tight left hamstring.

Alex Gordon led off the seventh with a single just under the glove of Willits in left field and then, facing reliever Justin Speier, Emil Brown pounded a one-out bounder in front of the plate and catcher Mike Napoli was charged with an error when he failed to pick up the ball cleanly.

After Pena moved the runners to second and third, Speier struck out David DeJesus for the third out.

It was the Angels' third victory in four outings on this seven-game road trip, raising the AL West leaders' record away from home to 4-8 after starting 1-7 on their first trip of the year.

Chone Figgins, in his second at-bat of the year, lined a double off the outstretched glove of left fielder Brown to make it 3-1 in the fourth. Figgins, recalled from the DL the day before after breaking two fingers on his right hand during spring training, also started a nifty double play in the sixth. Running in from third, he scooped up Esteban German's slow roller and made a strong throw to second baseman Erick Aybar, whose throw to first barely beat the runner.

Although the Royals were only 8-18 this April, it was still an improvement over the past two seasons when they went 6-18 and 5-17.


The Royals are starting their longest homestand of the season, 10 games in 11 days. ... Guerrero also doubled in the fifth but was out trying for a triple. ... Lackey retired Gload on an unusual play in the fourth. Gload hit a liner up the middle that would have gone through for a single, but it glanced off Lackey's left foot and bounced straight to first baseman Robb Quinlan, who picked up the ball and made the tag.

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