Dramatic Catch Sinks Royals

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Torii Hunter made a leaping, homer-stealing catch in the ninth inning to help the Los Angeles Angels hold off the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Sunday.

Jeff Mathis delivered a two-run single during a three-run seventh inning for the Angels, who completed a three-game series sweep against Kansas City.

Closer Brian Fuentes got his ninth save, with a huge assist to Hunter. The Gold Glove center fielder timed his running jump perfectly, reaching about a foot over the wall in left-center to grab a drive by Miguel Olivo and preserve a one-run lead.

Fuentes gave up a walk and a single after Hunter's catch, but got David DeJesus to ground into a double play to end it.

The Angels have won seven of their last eight games and are a half game behind the first-place Texas Rangers in the American League West.

The AL Central-leading Royals, who lost three consecutive games for the first time this season, scored only four runs the entire series.

Trailing 3-1 in the seventh inning, the Angels got a leadoff single from Kendry Morales off Royals starter Kyle Davies, who had been cruising.

After 95 pitches, Davies was replaced by Jamey Wright.

Morales was thrown out stealing, but Mike Napoli followed with a walk. Howie Kendrick hit a comebacker, but Wright (0-1) turned and threw the ball into center field trying to get Napoli on a force out at second base.

Kendrick stole second base ahead of Mathis' single, which he punched into right field. The throw home from Royals right fielder Jose Guillen reached the plate well ahead of Kendrick, but Olivo dropped the ball as Mathis advanced to second.

After a single from Erick Aybar put runners on the corners, Chone Figgins dragged a bunt up the first-base line to score the go-ahead run.

Scot Shields (1-2), who entered with a 9. 31 ERA, pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. The right-hander had an MRI on his left knee late last week and was diagnosed with patella tendonitis.

Davies gave up just one run on three hits in six-plus innings. It is the third time this season Davies has allowed three earned runs or less in at least six innings and ended up with a no-decision.

The only run he gave up came in the fourth inning on Morales' sacrifice fly.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI double by Mark Teahen. They added two more runs in the fourth inning against Angels starter Shane Loux with an RBI triple from Albert Callaspo and a run-scoring single from Olivo.

Loux gave up three runs on seven hits in just 3 2-3 innings.

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