Series: Game 3 of 3

Anaheim won 3-0

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 6

(16-29, 8-16 away)

Angels 7

(27-17, 14-10 home)

    10:05 PM ET, May 22, 2002

    Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 004100001 6 - -
    ANA 00000025 - 7 - -

    W: B. Weber (2-2)

    L: D. May (0-2)

    S: T. Percival (8)

    Surging Angels nipping at M's heels

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Any more victories like this one, and the streaking Anaheim Angels will start thinking they can't lose.

    Darin Erstad

    Darin Erstad and Garret Anderson hit two-run doubles in a five-run eighth inning as the Angels overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 Wednesday night for their 21st win in 24 games.

    "I just think about the direction this club is going, and I don't think anything is going to distract us from that -- like wondering if we're a team of destiny," manager Mike Scioscia said.

    The win, coupled with Seattle's loss to Tampa Bay, left the Angels only 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Mariners in the AL West. Anaheim was 10 1/2 games out as recently as April 23.

    "We're planning on being in first place, so our business isn't done," Erstad said.

    "Since I've been here we've always been good at battling and fighting and coming back in games, and we've been doing it a lot lately. It just shows the character of the guys we have. We have a lot of confidence right now."

    Paul Byrd, trying for his eighth victory and fifth in a row, took a two-hit shutout and a 5-0 lead into the seventh before giving up a two-run homer to Tim Salmon that started the comeback.

    "I don't think we're intimidated by anything," Scioscia said. "We're going to win a lot of games in different ways this year. The challenge is never to give up and keep battling until the last out to give yourself an opportunity for wins like tonight."

    Byrd gave up a single to Jorge Fabregas and walked pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro to open the eighth. Adam Kennedy greeted Darrell May (0-2) with an RBI double that scored Fabregas.

    Erstad followed with a ground-rule double into the right-field corner to tie it. After an intentional walk to Troy Glaus, Anderson drove an 0-1 pitch into the right-field corner, helping the Angels complete a three-game sweep.

    "That's exactly what happens when a ballclub is playing good like they are. You have to make 27 outs. They're playing real good right now," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "Byrd did a great job. He made one mistake against Salmon, but when he came back to the dugout, he said he still felt good."

    Ben Weber (2-2) got the victory with a perfect eighth inning. Troy Percival allowed an RBI single to Raul Ibanez with one out in the ninth before earning his eighth save in nine attempts.

    Byrd, who allowed four runs and five hits in seven-plus innings, was staked to a 4-0 lead in the third after Scott Schoeneweis retired the first two batters in the inning.

    Carlos Beltran, who broke out of a 4-for-35 slump with two hits Tuesday night, lined an 0-2 pitch over the tip of shortstop Jose Nieves' glove for a two-run single. Mike Sweeney drove the next pitch off the artificial rock quarry in left-center for his seventh home run.

    The Royals threatened to break it open in the fourth after loading the bases with none out, but all they got was a sacrifice fly from Donnie Sadler.

    "It has nothing to do with keeping the team close. That's not keeping a team close. I put us in a 5-0 hole," Schoeneweis said. "We're just playing incredibly well and up to the potential that we always felt we had. It's a great thing to be a part of."

    Schoeneweis allowed five runs and seven hits in seven innings. Sweeney's homer was the first against the left-hander in five starts, after he gave up three April 22 at Seattle.

    "There are some things I need to work out," Schoeneweis said. "I'm really disappointed in my control and my command. I'm not making pitches and I'm turning 1-2-3 innings into four-run innings. But it's a 'W.' My teammates picked me up with the bats."

    Game notes

    Both teams played without their regular leadoff hitters. A sprained left knee kept Anaheim's David Eckstein out of the starting lineup for the second straight game, as did Chuck Knoblauch's injured left forearm. ... The Angels' 21-3 surge hasn't made much of a difference at the Edison Field box office. Six of their last nine home games have drawn fewer than 15,600 in a ballpark that seats 45,030. The three-game set with the Royals drew a combined 45,791. ... Pena has used nine lineups in his first nine games as manager.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press