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Kansas City at Los Angeles

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Kansas City (24-25)003000000360
Los Angeles (28-21) «00000031x480

Iannetta's home run in 8th sends Angels past Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- With all the power they possess in the middle of their lineup, the Los Angeles Angels don't usually need home runs from Chris Iannetta.

Yet that's what they got in a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals.

The veteran catcher hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning Sunday to lift the Angels to a 4-3 victory. He also connected Friday night for their first run in a win.

Iannetta's latest go-ahead drive sailed into the lower seats in the left-field corner.

"I didn't know if it was going to go out or not. I was just hoping it would stay fair. I'm glad it did," he said.

Reliever Tim Collins (0-3) retired the first batter in the eighth before Iannetta hit his fifth homer of the season.

"I just missed. I was trying to go away," Collins said. "You can't miss your spots in those situations. That's what I did, and that's what happens."

Michael Kohn (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning. Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his sixth save, retiring Alcides Escobar on a popup with a runner on third.

Garrett Richards, trying to preserve some arms in the Angels' bullpen following Saturday night's 13-inning 7-4 loss, pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

"I was prepared to go back out for the eighth, with the bullpen being taxed from last night," Richards said. "But I always try to go deep in game because I know that if I do, I'm doing my job. I'm going as hard as I can for as long as I can."

Royals starter Jason Vargas was charged with a run and three hits over 6 1-3 innings in his return to Angel Stadium, and was lifted after 109 pitches with a 3-0 lead.

Kelvin Herrera took over with a runner at first and gave up a single by No. 9 hitter Collin Cowgill on his first pitch. Mike Trout hit an RBI double with one out, Albert Pujols was hit by an 0-2 pitch and David Freese had a tying, two-run single.

Pujols tried to score the go-ahead run from second on C.J. Cron's sharp single, but Lorenzo Cain -- starting in right field for the first time this season after 28 starts in center -- threw him out at the plate.

Vargas struck out six and tied a career high with five walks. This was the sixth time in 165 big league starts that the 31-year-old left-hander has walked as many as five batters, and the first time since July 20, 2011, with Seattle.

"I think he was being extra careful with Pujols and Trout -- and Howie Kendrick's also tough," manager Ned Yost said. "That's a powerful lineup over there. So either he was going to make his pitch, or he wasn't going to make a mistake to those guys and let them drive it out of the ballpark."

Vargas walked his first batter in the second, third and fourth innings after giving up a leadoff single in the first, but the Angels couldn't capitalize. He walked his first two batters in the third before retiring Pujols on a double-play grounder to shortstop and striking out Freese.

"It was just one of those games where I had to battle through some innings," Vargas said. "I was just missing and wasn't able to get ahead on some of those guys, but I was fortunate to get back into some counts later in the inning and ended up getting out of it."

The Royals, who scored first in all three games of the series, took a 3-0 lead in the second. Pedro Ciriaco hit a bloop double that scored Jimmy Paredes, who singled and advanced on Richards' first balk in 291 1-3 career innings to that point.

Jarrod Dyson reached on a fielding error by Gold Glove shortstop Erick Aybar, and Eric Hosmer followed with a sacrifice fly before Alex Gordon capped the rally with an RBI single.

Richards retired his next 11 batters, striking out the side on 11 pitches in the fifth.

"Other than the third inning, it was good," Richards said.

Vargas was 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 24 starts with the Angels last season after four years with Seattle. He signed a four-year, $32 million contract with Kansas City on Nov. 21.

Notes

LF Cowgill made two sliding catches in foul territory, one on Hosmer's sacrifice fly. ... The Angels optioned RHP Matt Shoemaker to Triple-A Salt Lake and selected six-year veteran LHP Wade LeBlanc to the major league roster. LeBlanc, who signed a minor league contract in November as a free agent, was 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA with Salt Lake. He had a combined 20-32 record and 4.51 ERA in 96 big league appearances with the Padres, Marlins and Astros, including 68 starts. ... The Royals recalled RHP Michael Mariot from Triple-A Omaha and optioned C Francisco Pena to the minor league team. Pena is the son of former Royals manager and current Yankees bench coach Tony Pena.

 
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Chris Iannetta gets some love from Mike Trout after hitting a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning. (USATSI)
Chris Iannetta gets some love from Mike Trout after hitting a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Iannetta
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Kansas City

P. Ciriaco
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF3110110 .286
Eric Hosmer, 1B2001120 .286
Billy Butler, DH3000101 .246
Alex Gordon, LF4011020 .270
Salvador Perez, C4010002 .264
   Norichika Aoki, PR0000000 .282
Lorenzo Cain, RF4000011 .301
Alcides Escobar, SS4010001 .270
Jimmy Paredes, 3B3110011 .250
Pedro Ciriaco, 2B3111011 .208
Jason Vargas, P0000000 .000
   Kelvin Herrera, P0000000 .000
   Tim Collins, P0000000 .000
Totals3036338  
Batting
2B - Salvador Perez (13, Frieri), Pedro Ciriaco (1, Richards)
SF - Eric Hosmer (4)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (23), Alex Gordon (26), Pedro Ciriaco (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (12)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (7, 2nd base off Richards/Iannetta)
CS - Jarrod Dyson (3, 2nd base by Richards/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Lorenzo Cain 1
DP - Escobar-Ciriaco-Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Vargas 6.1311560 3.55
Kelvin Herrera (BS,1) 0.2422000 1.96
Tim Collins (L,0-3) 1111001 5.59
HBP - Pujols (by Kelvin Herrera)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 109-60, Kelvin Herrera 16-12, Tim Collins 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 2-10, Tim Collins 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 26, Kelvin Herrera 6, Tim Collins 4
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Howie Kendrick, 2B3010101 .309
Mike Trout, CF2111201 .280
Albert Pujols, DH3000003 .268
David Freese, 3B4012012 .217
C.J. Cron, 1B2010202 .302
Erick Aybar, SS4010001 .269
Chris Iannetta, C4221023 .248
Kole Calhoun, RF4000024 .205
Collin Cowgill, LF2000012 .273
   a-Raul Ibanez, PH-LF2110000 .158
Garrett Richards, P0000000 .000
   Michael Kohn, P0000000 .000
   Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
Totals3048456  
a-singled for Cowgill in the 7th
Batting
2B - Mike Trout (11, Herrera)
HR - Chris Iannetta (5, Collins)
RBI - Mike Trout (34), David Freese 2 (14), Chris Iannetta (16)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Trout (9), David Freese 2 (7)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Cron
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Garrett Richards 7533270 3.00
Michael Kohn (W,2-1) 1000100 2.11
Ernesto Frieri (S,6) 1100010 4.22
WP - Garrett Richards (11)
Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Richards 108-72, Michael Kohn 16-9, Ernesto Frieri 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Richards 7-6, Michael Kohn 1-1
Batters Faced - Garrett Richards 27, Michael Kohn 3, Ernesto Frieri 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36114
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Chris Segal