Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Royals 2, Angels 0: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
The Angels had another miserable afternoon of clutch hitting Wednesday and Billy Butler hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning to win it for the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Umpires initially ruled Butler's drive off Scott Downs a double, but saw that it cleared the left-field wall when they reviewed video.
Tyler Chatwood. This was the rookie right-hander's most complete career performance as he breezed into the eighth inning without giving up a run. Chatwood, 21, has been hurt by wildness at times, but he limited Kansas City to two walks and got a couple of big double plays.
Torii Hunter, outfielder. He has proved nearly as formidable in right field as he was in center. Hunter has been throwing out overly aggressive base runners frequently lately. He got rookie Eric Hosmer trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth inning.
Erick Aybar. The Angels' leadoff guy must have wondered how it was so hard for his teammates to face journeyman spot starter Felipe Paulino. Aybar went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .315, but it didn't get him far. The rest of the lineup combined for four hits.
Torii Hunter, hitter. The Angels' No. 3 hitter didn't look like one Wednesday. He stranded four runners on an 0-for-4 afternoon. He grounded into his major-league-leading 15th double play at the worst possible time, with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth.
Russell Branyan. It seems as if the Angels might do better giving designated-hitter at-bats to someone else. Since he signed after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Branyan is 2-for-20 with nine strikeouts. Branyan may not be around long. Howie Kendrick and Vernon Wells both are due back from the disabled list within a week or so.
Sputtering. Kendrick and Wells can't get here soon enough for Mike Scioscia. The lineups he's been fielding have had their moments, but have generally failed to score runs. The season-long tale was repeated Wednesday. The Angels had one hit in seven at-bats with a runner in scoring position and it was Aybar's bunt single that advanced Alexi Amarista to third.