Series: Game 1 of 3

Anaheim leads 1-0 (as of 5/20)

Game 1: Monday, May 20
Kansas City 3Final
Anaheim 6
Game 2: Tuesday, May 21
Kansas City 1Final
Anaheim 5
Game 3: Wednesday, May 22
Kansas City 6Final
Anaheim 7

Royals 3

(16-27, 8-14 away)

Angels 6

(25-17, 12-10 home)

    10:05 PM ET, May 20, 2002

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000001200 3 - -
    ANA 31000110 - 6 - -

    W: K. Appier (5-1)

    L: B. Stein (0-2)

    S: T. Percival (7)

    Angels notch 19th win in last 22 games

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Kevin Appier's savvy has brought a new dimension to the Anaheim Angels' pitching staff.

    Kevin Appier
    Starting Pitcher
    Anaheim Angels
    GM W L Sv K ERA
    9 5 1 0 38 2.96

    Appier won his fifth straight decision and retired 15 consecutive batters during one stretch as the Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Monday night for their 19th victory in 22 games.

    Appier (5-1) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked two. The right-hander is 11-1 in his last 21 starts, including a 6-0 mark in his final 12 outings last season with the New York Mets.

    It was only the second time in his nine outings with Anaheim that Appier has allowed more than two earned runs.

    "Aside from Kevin's performance, he brings a confidence to the staff and each guy tries to feed off that," closer Troy Percival said. "The starters are pitching great and we're doing the best we can in the bullpen. It's fun to watch."

    So are the Angels. At 25-17, they are off to their best start since 1989 and have outscored their opponents 167-68 during their club-record surge. They are batting .323 and have a 2.67 ERA over the last 22 games, but the players aren't allowing themselves to get caught up in their success.

    "It's real easy not to because it's a long year and because we saw what we did the first 20 games. We didn't play well real well," Percival said in reference to the Angels' 6-14 start. "So you don't get caught up in it. You just try to go out every day and play as well as you can."

    Staked to a 4-0 lead after two innings, Appier pitched one-hit ball into the sixth before giving up a two-out single to Neifi Perez, a walk and an RBI single by Mike Sweeney. A.J. Hinch chased Appier in the seventh with a two-run single that trimmed Anaheim's lead to 5-3.

    "I was kind of mechanically uncoordinated tonight," Appier said. "I got away with it for a little while, but I got a little bit worn and didn't have a good feel."

    Ben Weber, Dennis Cook and Al Levine held the Royals in check until the ninth, and Percival got three outs for his seventh save in eight chances.

    Blake Stein (0-2) lasted 5 1-3, allowing five runs and eight hits in his second start since being inserted into the rotation.

    "I was on kind of a restricted pitch count, so I just wanted to give them as many innings as I could," Stein said. "I got into a hole early and didn't give the team a chance to come out of the chute. It was tough for our hitters to come back, and that's my fault."

    The Angels got RBI singles in the first from Garret Anderson, Brad Fullmer and Scott Spiezio. They increased the margin to 4-0 in the second with an RBI triple by Darin Erstad, and added a run in the sixth on Adam Kennedy's sacrifice fly.

    "They come out aggressive. They swing the bats, they've got good pitching and they play good defense. When you put that together, you're going to win games -- and that's what they're doing right now," Stein said. "We're going to have to pitch, hit and field better to beat a team that's playing the way they are."

    Troy Glaus, who had two doubles, scored on a passed ball by Hinch in the seventh to make it 6-3.

    Game notes

    Appier is 3-0 in three starts against the Royals since they traded him to Oakland in July 1999 -- a deal that sent Stein to the Royals. ... Kansas City optioned rookie OF Brandon Berger to Triple-A Omaha and purchased the contract of RHP Mac Suzuki from the Pacific Coast League team. ... Angels leadoff hitter David Eckstein scored twice. Anaheim is 18-5 when he scores a run. ... Luis Alicea batted for Hinch in the ninth and struck out to end the game. Royals pinch-hitters are 1-for-37 this season and are hitless in their last 21 at-bats. ... Tim Salmon's sixth-inning single was his 100th career hit against the Royals. ... Chuck Knoblauch, who struck out only 12 times in his previous 127 at-bats, fanned three times and is hitless in his last 11 at-bats. ... The Royals have lost 10 of their last 13 games in Anaheim.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press