video thumbnail

LAA@KC: Kendrick belts second homer of game

KANSAS CITY -- In the aftermath of Matt Treanor's three-run, walkoff homer in the 13th inning that lifted the Royals to a 12-9 triumph on Sunday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was vowing to address a reeling bullpen that wasted a whole lot of heavy lifting by the offense.

"Some guys did a terrific job on the mound and gave us a chance to win," Scioscia said, "and some didn't. There are some things we're going to sort out. We need to change some things.

"We're four games [and three losses] into this, and you definitely want to balance guys getting their feet on the ground with performance. We need to find some chemistry down in the 'pen. We do have some missing pieces, if you want to evaluate it correctly. We do miss [Scott] Downs. Some guys who need to throw the ball are not throwing the ball well now."

Eight of the Royals' 10 walks came against the bullpen, all eight from the ninth inning through the 13th.

After starter Scott Kazmir was unable to get through two innings, spotting the Royals a 5-0 advantage, Rich Thompson restored order with 3 1/3 strong innings, yielding a solo homer by Billy Butler and nothing more.

The Angels, meanwhile, began slashing away at Bruce Chen and the Kansas City bullpen.

Led by Bobby Abreu, Howard Kendrick and Maicer Izturis, the top three combining for 11 hits, four homers and six RBIs, the Angels brought out the heavy lumber. Producing five homers, they rebounded from that five-run deficit to claim a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

It unraveled under a barrage of walks and a few timely hits by Kansas City. Closer Fernando Rodney opened the floodgates as the Royals tied it with two in the ninth and prevailed when Treanor unloaded off Jason Bulger after the right-hander had made it through two scoreless innings.

Working three innings, southpaw Tim Collins (1-0) claimed his first Major League win, with Bulger absorbing the loss in his first appearance.

"I hit it pretty good," Treanor said. "I usually don't peek, but when I was halfway to first, I did take a look at Vernon [Wells], and he had his back to the infield, so I had a pretty good idea it was going to leave."

Behind in the count, Bulger left a pitch in Treanor's wheelhouse after his fielding error -- he bobbled the throw from first baseman Mark Trumbo on Chris Getz's grounder to first -- got the inning started.

"I was looking for something up in the zone," Treanor said, "and I thought 3-1 would be a situation where he might just try and flip one over -- and he left it up."

Kendrick powered two of the Angels' homers, with Izturis, Abreu and Alberto Callaspo also going deep. The team unloaded nine homers in the four games, three by Kendrick. He had 10 all of last season, matching his career high.

"We have a lineup that can do a lot of damage," Kendrick said. "We have a lot of weapons here, all the way down to Peter Bourjos, who's really a leadoff guy batting ninth. When we get it going, we can be fun to watch."

Abreu's perfect day -- five hits, two walks -- would have felt much better in a happier clubhouse.

"My rhythm wasn't good the first three games, but it is there now," Abreu said. "It's about winning games, so I'm not content. It's very frustrating to lose one like this."

Just as big as his two bombs was Kendrick's bunt single preceding Abreu's homer in the seventh against Royals reliever Sean O'Sullivan, who followed Chen.

Abreu's blow gave the Angels a 7-6 lead, but the Royals came back when Alex Gordon singled off Hisanori Takahashi and scored on Jeff Francoeur's two-out double off Michael Kohn.

Callaspo, who doubled and singled earlier, homered in the ninth off Jeremy Jeffress. Izturis' double had sent Bourjos racing home from first with the go-ahead run in the eighth.

The Royals rallied to draw even with a pair of ninth-inning runs on four walks -- three issued by Rodney -- and a two-run double by Wilson Betemit. Kevin Jepsen came to the rescue, getting five outs under pressure following two subpar outings.

After Betemit's drive to left center tied it against Rodney, Jepsen retired Treanor and Mike Aviles on force outs to strand three runners.

Jordan Walden, the best of the Angels' relievers during the draining four-game series, struck out Mike Aviles and Melky Cabrera to leave a runner stranded at third in the eighth after Izturis' go-ahead double.

After Kazmir was unable to find his fastball or command, the Angels launched their comeback with back-to-back homers by Izturis and Kendrick leading off the third inning against Chen.

Doubles by Alberto Callaspo and Trumbo -- the second of the day for the rookie first baseman -- and an infield out by Bourjos made it a one-run game.

Kazmir's day was fitful from the moment he hit leadoff man Mike Aviles in the first with an 0-1 pitch.

"I had to go from the stretch right away," Kazmir said, "and I just couldn't get a good feel for what I wanted to do. I put my team in a bad position."

The Royals scored twice, leaving the bases loaded when Alcides Escobar grounded out, but they resumed the assault on Kazmir in the second.

Cabrera homered to center with two out. Gordon doubled, Butler was hit by a pitch, and Ka'aihue's RBI double ended Kazmir's day.

"Right now," Scioscia said, "he doesn't have velocity or command -- and that's something that has to sort itself out."

Following Monday's off-day, the Angels open a two-game series against the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

MLB.com Comments