Anaheim at Kansas City

Scoreboard
L.A. Angels «010001210560
Kansas City0100000102100

Angels 5, Royals 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn't mind relying on rookie pitchers. Still, it's nice to have veteran hitters to back them up.

Robb Quinlan and Vladimir Guerrero homered to back rookie Joe Saunders, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 Tuesday night as they tried to gain ground in the AL West.

Saunders (6-3) struck out a career-high eight in seven innings, allowing one run and seven hits, and Angels rookie starters improved to 18-5 this season. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth when he struck out Emil Brown and Ryan Shealy.

"Joe pitched well," Scioscia said. "Kansas City is tough. They've got an offense - with Mike Sweeney back in the middle of it -- that can score runs if you're not getting the ball in the right spot. When guys got on, Joe made some pitches."

The Angels, who have 11 games left, began the night 6½ games behind division-leading Oakland.

With the victory by Saunders (6-3), Angels rookie starters improved to 18-5 this season.

"It comes down to talent," Scioscia said. "I think these guys are good. They throw the ball extremely well and we're supporting them when they pitch. A lot of people call them young pitchers. I think pretty soon you're just going to be calling them good pitchers."

Saunders escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth when he struck out Emil Brown and Ryan Shealy.

"I buckled down and tried to keep the ball down," Saunders said. "I had better command tonight. I could throw all three pitches for strikes. They were hitting it all around the park on me, so it wasn't just one pitch. When the opposing team knows you can throw everything you've got for strikes, it benefits you."

Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 43rd save in 47 chances.

Kansas City clinched its third straight last-place finish in the AL Central, the first time that's happened in the history of the franchise. The Royals (58-93) must win five of their last 11 games to avoid their fourth 100-loss season in five years.

"We had a couple of chances, but couldn't come up with the big hit," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said.

Jose De La Rosa (3-3) allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. The Angels have won 12 of their last 14 games in Kansas City.

"I thought he did a great job," Bell said. "He only gave up two hits through six innings. Both were home runs and both were legit, but the kid pitched great. We probably took him a little bit further than we needed to."

Quinlan's two-out homer put the Angels ahead in the second, but Paul Phillips tied the score with a bloop RBI single in the bottom half.

Guerrero gave the Angels a 2-1 lead in the sixth, reaching 30 homers for the third straight season and eighth time in nine years.

"This guy is as good a hitter as there's been in the game," Scioscia said. "He not only puts up numbers, but he's clutch. It's been fun to watch. He's certainly held up his end of what we needed."

Los Angeles added a pair of runs in the eighth when Howie Kendrick hit a two-out RBI double and scored on Mike Napoli's single. Garret Anderson added a two-out RBI single in the eighth against Ryan Braun.

Angel Berroa singled in a run off Scott Shields in the bottom half.

Notes

Kansas City 2B Mark Grudzielanek left in the third inning after straining his right groin running out an infield single. ... The Angels are 245-246 against the Royals.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Anaheim

V. Guerrero
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Anaheim

J. Saunders
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 3
K 8
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Maicer Izturis, 3B3000101 .291
Orlando Cabrera, SS3110101 .279
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4111001 .327
Juan Rivera, CF4000001 .295
    Reggie Willits, CF0000000 .222
Garret Anderson, LF4011000 .278
Robb Quinlan, 1B2111110 .320
    Tommy Murphy, PR0100000 .246
    Darin Erstad, 1B1000001 .223
Tim Salmon, DH2000111 .264
   a- Chone Figgins, PH-DH1000000 .260
Howie Kendrick, 2B4111001 .275
Mike Napoli, C4011020 .224
Totals32565447 
a-grounded out for Salmon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Howie Kendrick (20, De La Rosa)
HR - Vladimir Guerrero (30, De La Rosa), Robb Quinlan (8, De La Rosa)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (111), Garret Anderson (80), Robb Quinlan (30), Howie Kendrick (25), Mike Napoli (40)
2-OUT RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (42), Garret Anderson (34), Robb Quinlan (13), Howie Kendrick (11), Mike Napoli (18)
SB - Tommy Murphy (4, 2nd base off De La Rosa/Phillips)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Saunders-Cabrera-Quinlan
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders (W,6-3) 7711380 4.29
Scot Shields 1211010 3.07
Francisco Rodriguez (S,43) 1100210 1.76
IBB - Sweeney by Joe Saunders
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 115-71, Scot Shields 16-11, Francisco Rodriguez 37-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 10-2, Scot Shields 2-0, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 30, Scot Shields 5, Francisco Rodriguez 6
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF-LF5000022 .290
Esteban German, LF-2B4020100 .340
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B2010001 .297
    Joey Gathright, PR-CF3020010 .234
Mike Sweeney, DH2000311 .255
    Andres Blanco, PR-DH0000000 .233
Emil Brown, RF5110037 .292
Ryan Shealy, 1B4000024 .295
Angel Berroa, SS4121010 .232
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3010101 .143
Paul Phillips, C3011001 .281
   a- Shane Costa, PH1000000 .281
Totals36210251017 
a-flied out for Phillips in the 9th
Batting
2B - Esteban German (16, Saunders), Joey Gathright (11, Saunders), Emil Brown (38, Shields)
RBI - Angel Berroa (52), Paul Phillips (2)
2-OUT RBI - Angel Berroa (28), Paul Phillips (1)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Berroa-Grudzielanek-Shealy
Kansas City Royals
Jorge De La Rosa (L,5-5) 6.2444442 6.66
Ryan Braun 1.1211000 4.70
Ambiorix Burgos 1000000 5.68
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge De La Rosa 108-57, Ryan Braun 13-11, Ambiorix Burgos 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge De La Rosa 9-6, Ryan Braun 2-2, Ambiorix Burgos 2-1
Batters Faced - Jorge De La Rosa 27, Ryan Braun 6, Ambiorix Burgos 3
Game Information
Attendance - 9048
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Tim Welke