ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- One reason Garret Anderson has been a
model of consistency over the years is his ability to keep his
emotions in check after a great game or a miserable one.
After driving in five runs with a homer and a three-run double
in a 14-1 rout of the hapless Kansas City Royals on Saturday night,
the Los Angeles Angels' left fielder was just as tough on himself
as if he had gone 0-for-5.
"I've been playing long enough now where one night like this
isn't going to make me feel better," said Anderson, a two-time
All-Star who began the game in a 4-for-24 rut. "This is over with.
Everybody's going to go through phases where they're not going to
be as productive. You can't be productive every day. I don't know
one person who has been."
The Angels won their third straight and improved to a
season-best nine games over .500, one night after rallying from a
five-run deficit in the ninth inning and beating the Royals 9-8 in
10. The 23 total runs were just one fewer than the Angels had
scored in their previous seven games combined.
"This is stuff we know we can do, we just weren't doing it,"
Anderson said. "There's no particular reason why, but we weren't
getting the job done. We've strung together a couple of good
nights, but there's still a long way to go. That's something you
want to string together for quite some time. One night's not going
to be enough."
Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit, helping
the Angels record their highest-scoring game of the season. Steve
Finley and Chone Figgins each had three RBI. Rookie Dallas
McPherson homered for the third straight game and had an RBI
single. Figgins went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11
games, the longest by an Angels player this season.
The defending AL West champions entered this series with a
league-worst .295 on-base percentage, but have feasted on a Royals
pitching staff that has a 6.77 ERA over its last 16 games.
"A loss like this hurts just as much as a one-run loss,"
Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney said. "We didn't play good
baseball tonight and the Angels played great baseball.
Unfortunately, we caught them when they're hot."
Kelvim Escobar (2-2) allowed a run and four hits over five
innings in his first start off the disabled list. The right-hander,
who missed two turns in the rotation because of a bone spur in his
elbow, improved his career record against Kansas City to 8-2.
The nine-year veteran has been on the DL twice this season,
missing the first 18 games because of a sprained elbow. Before this
year, Escobar had not been on the DL since 1998 with Toronto, when
he sat out three weeks because of inflammation in his elbow.
"I'm very, very happy with my velocity right now," Escobar
said. "It's going to be there. I'm just working through this right
now with my treatments and my exercises and see if we can get the
inflammation out of there and I can throw the ball without any
Chris Bootcheck allowed two hits over the final four innings for
his first career save.
Ruben Gotay had an RBI single for the Royals, who have lost five
straight overall and eight in a row on the road. They are off to a
franchise-worst 13-36 start, and are 5-11 since Bob Schaefer was
promoted from bench coach to interim manager following Tony Pena's
resignation on May 11.
"I wish we knew the magic potion because we would adopt it and
apply it," Sweeney said. "We've had a lot of losing streaks, but
we haven't gotten hot. We're a very young team, and part of being
young is going through tough times.
"Are we going to win the Central Division? Probably not. But
that doesn't mean we're throwing in the towel. Ownership said from
day one in spring training that this is going to be a rebuilding
year and they're going to use a lot of young guys and build towards
Ryan Jensen (1-1) was charged with seven runs and eight hits
over 3 1/3 innings in his second start since replacing injured
first baseman Ken Harvey on the roster.
Figgins chased Jensen in the fourth with a two-run single that
increased the Angels' lead to 6-1. Finley added a sacrifice fly
against Leo Nunez and Anderson followed with his fifth homer.
Anderson made it 12-1 in the fifth with his bases-loaded double
down the right field line against Nunez. The five RBI put Anderson
within 15 of the 1,000 mark, and just four away from Tim Salmon's
franchise record of 989.
This was Jensen's first career appearance against the
Angels. He made 30 starts for San Francisco in 2002 and was 13-8,
but was left off the World Series roster when the Giants met the
Angels. Manager Dusty Baker didn't need a fifth starter and decided
that Scott Eyre and Aaron Fultz would be more effective in a relief
role than Jensen. ... The Royals are 1-31 when they score fewer
than six runs. ... McPherson has six RBI in his last three games
after getting just three in his first 30 contests.