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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Mark Redman has finally figured out how to win games.
The Kansas City Royals left-hander won his third straight start, allowing three runs and four hits over eight innings Wednesday night in a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Prior to this winning streak, the two teams that Redman pitched for over his previous 24 starts had recorded only one victory during that span.
"It was a tough stretch," said Redman, who spent last season with Pittsburgh. "I started off last year with 14 quality starts and nothing to really to show for it. Unfortunately, that's the way it went. But this is a new year and I've tried to shake the monkey off my back.
"All I can really do is keep taking that ball every fifth day and just keep the game as close as possible. I'm not going to be throwing shutouts out there, so we're going to have to score some runs and play some good defense."
Ambiorix Burgos, who has gotten the chance to close this season because of Mike MacDougal's shoulder injury, got three outs for his ninth save in 15 attempts. He retired Darin Erstad on a double-play grounder with the tying run at second to end it, after blowing five of his previous eight save opportunities.
"Burgy's obviously been hot and cold," manager Buddy Bell said. "We're putting him in a position that probably a young kid like him probably shouldn't be in just yet, but we don't have any other options. He's got the stuff to do it. He hasn't had a clean ninth in a while, but he's gotten out of some big jams. Hopefully, that double play will do him some good."
The win snapped a four-game skid by the Royals, who already this season have endured losing streaks of 13, 11 and six games. They are 17-47, and would have to go 46-52 the rest of the way to avoid their fourth 100-loss season in five years -- and Buddy Bell's second as a major league manager. His 1996 Detroit Tigers lost 109 games.
"This organization has had one successful season in the last five years and they've lost 100 games a few of those years," Grudzielanek said. "And when you're bringing up young players, you don't want them to get used to that and not understand what they need to do on and off the field."
Scot Shields (3-4) relieved Angels starter Kelvim Escobar in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single by David DeJesus, who advanced to third on Grudzielanek's sacrifice bunt and a groundout by Doug Mientkiewicz. Stairs drove in DeJesus with a bouncing single up the middle on a 1-1 pitch.
"I was trying to go in with the fastball and left it out over the middle of the plate," Shields said. "Stairs is every bit a professional hitter. I made a mistake by not hitting my spot and he made me pay for it."
Escobar allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits over seven innings and struck out five after being staked to a 3-1 lead on Robb Quinlan's three-run homer in the second. The no-decision left the right-hander 0-5 in his last six starts since a 12-7 victory over Seattle on May 12.
"I'm not frustrated," Escobar said. "My goal every time I go out there is to have a quality start and keep the team in the ballgame as much as I can. For the most part, I've been able to do that, but I'm not getting good results. I'm very pleased in what I'm doing so far, but I can't control the rest."
Escobar shrugged off Grudzielanek's first-inning homer and allowed only one of his next 15 batters to reach base. But No. 9 hitter John Buck singled leading off the sixth and took third when third baseman Chone Figgins fielded DeJesus' grounder on the infield grass and threw wildly to second base on the attempted force.
Grudzielanek followed with an RBI single and DeJesus scored on a groundout by Mientkiewicz, tying it at 3.
|The Royals' Matt Stairs' RBI single in the eighth secures Mark Redman's third consecutive win. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, CF||5||2||1||0||0||2||2||.261|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||3||1||2||2||0||1||1||.303|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||4||0||0||1||0||0||1||.273|
|Reggie Sanders, RF||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.250|
|Matt Stairs, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.248|
|Emil Brown, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.264|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.239|
|Angel Berroa, SS||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||.260|
|John Buck, C||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.214|
|2B - Mark Grudzielanek (12, Escobar), Emil Brown (14, Escobar)|
|HR - Mark Grudzielanek (3, Escobar)|
|SH - Mark Grudzielanek (1)|
|RBI - Mark Grudzielanek 2 (15), Doug Mientkiewicz (21), Matt Stairs (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - Matt Stairs (10)|
|CS - Emil Brown (3, 3rd base by Escobar/Napoli)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek-Berroa-Mientkiewicz|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Mark Redman (W,3-4)||8||4||3||3||3||1||1||5.68|
|Ambiorix Burgos (S,9)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||7.12|
|WP - Ambiorix Burgos (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Redman 101-55, Ambiorix Burgos 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Redman 13-9, Ambiorix Burgos 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mark Redman 30, Ambiorix Burgos 4|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.309|
|Garret Anderson, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.281|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.313|
|Tim Salmon, DH||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||.280|
|a- Adam Kennedy, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.265|
|Mike Napoli, C||2||1||0||0||2||1||1||.288|
|Juan Rivera, CF||2||0||0||0||1||0||3||.244|
|Darin Erstad, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.221|
|Robb Quinlan, 1B||3||1||1||3||0||0||1||.261|
|Maicer Izturis, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.286|
|a-struck out for Salmon in the 9th|
|2B - Tim Salmon (5, Redman)|
|HR - Robb Quinlan (1, Redman)|
|RBI - Robb Quinlan 3 (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Robb Quinlan 3 (5)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Chone Figgins (11, Wild throw)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Scot Shields (L,3-4)||1||2||1||1||1||1||0||1.51|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 104-64, Scot Shields 18-11, Hector Carrasco 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 9-7, Scot Shields 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 27, Scot Shields 6, Hector Carrasco 4|
|Attendance - 38910|
|Game Time - 2:28|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Mark Carlson|