KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels hope they're starting to put together a spurt.
Kelvim Escobar (6-8) struck out nine in seven innings, and Robb Quinlan hit a two-run homer in a three-run fourth that led the Angels over the Kansas City Royals 3-0 Friday night.Tim Salmon had an RBI double for the Angels, who pitched their
eighth shutout of the season, one behind AL-leading Boston. The
Angels trail Oakland by 2½ games in the AL West."We've been getting a lot of opportunities in the last month,
but we haven't been converting them," Anaheim manager Mike
Scioscia said. "Tonight we were able to bunch some hits
together."Escobar (6-8) allowed seven hits and walked one. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the eighth, and Troy Percival finished with a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 24 chances."You just trust your stuff, keep your focus and make good
pitches," Escobar said.Darrell May (8-12) gave up six hits in seven innings for the
Royals, who lost for just the second time in six games."Seven innings and three runs is a quality start," May said.
"I have to walk away and be happy with that."He retired nine of his first 10 batters, needing only 26
pitches, then got into trouble in the fourth, when Jose Guillen
singled with two outs and Quinlan homered to extend his hitting
streak to a career-high 17 games, a team record for rookies."I think he put one where he didn't want to throw it -- it was
middle-in -- and I was able to turn on it," Quinlan said.Darin Erstad singled and scored on Salmon's double down the
left-field line.Escobar, meanwhile, allowed Kansas City's first two batters to
reach, then picked off David DeJesus at second. After Ken Harvey
was hit by a pitch, Escobar struck out Matt Stairs and retired
Ruben Mateo on a flyout.Dee Brown doubled leading off the second, but then was thrown
out at the plate by Erstad on John Buck's grounder to first.With runners at the corners and on out in the third, Stairs
bounced into an inning-ending double play. Mateo was stranded at
third base in the fourth when Angel Berroa and Buck struck out."It's one of those days when you cannot get a big hit when you
need it," Kansas City manager Tony Pena said. "If you don't get
those guys early, they're going to get you, and that's what
Rodriguez leads AL relievers with 88 strikeouts. ...
Anaheim's Garret Anderson was scratched from the starting lineup
because of tendinitis in his left knee. ... Guillen has hit safely
in 19 of his last 22 games and is batting .351 (27-for-77) since
the All-Star break. ... Kansas City was shut out for the eighth
time. ... Jimmy Serrano, Kansas City's scheduled starter Saturday,
will become the ninth player to make his major league debut for the
Royals this season.