06/27/07 9:27 PM ET
Angels can't get bats going vs. KC
Halos waste seven sharp innings by right-hander Weaver
By Larry Santana / MLB.com
For the third time in as many nights, the Angels, Major League Baseball's most dangerous team -- on paper, anyway -- were pounded by their polar opposites, losing a 1-0 decision to the Royals, the last-place team in the AL Central, in the finale of a three-game series at Angel Stadium on Wednesday.
The Royals' sweep marked the second time this season the Angels -- the beneficiary of a nine-series win streak -- dropped three straight to the same club. Boston blanked the Halos in a three-game stretch from April 13-16.
Yes, Halos fans. You can pick up your collective jaws from the ground, now.
"We just couldn't get the hit with guys in scoring position," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those guys played well defensively. They beat us. There's no sense looking back. We didn't play well enough in these three games to win them, and we didn't win them. We've got to play better and get some guys back on their game. It's certainly a bump in the road, but we'll regroup."
One Angels player was forced to trade this figurative dismay for literal pain, picking himself up from the ground after the battle of Willits vs. the Wall sent him crashing face-first into the barricade in center field. Reggie Willits, the owner of the mashed mug -- manning the post usually reserved for the injured Gary Matthews Jr. in center -- collided with the barrier tracking a Billy Butler fly ball in the seventh.
Willits made the catch, but was removed from the game after team physician Craig Milhouse diagnosed the young outfielder with a contusion in his right knee. He will undergo precautionary X-rays.
"Reggie was shaken up," Scioscia said. "He hit [the wall] about as hard as you can hit out there. At first, he was a little woozy; his knees were a little sore. He banged his arm a little bit. We'll evaluate him on Friday and see where he's at."
Erik Aybar recorded the first out of the contest with a sensational catch of his own, launching himself through the air in a fully extended lunge to his left to rob David DeJesus of a leadoff double. Starter Jered Weaver offered a complimentary tip of his cap to the "Superman" making his second consecutive start in left field.
Unlike Ervin Santana and John Lackey before him -- the pair allowed a combined 12 runs (eight earned) on 16 hits -- Weaver turned in a strong performance, allowing one earned run on four hits through seven innings after taking an 11-day hiatus to mend an ailing right shoulder and a minor bout with strep throat. But the Royals rotation once again pumped the brakes on the typically torrid pace at which the Halos offense has been known to collect hits en masse this season.
Although they recorded a series-high 10 hits, the Angels were unable to push runs across the plate, nullifying Weaver's quality outing while being held scoreless for the first time since a 12-0 loss at Detroit on May 24.
Nine of the Angels' 10 hits were singles, including a Chone Figgins base-knock that puts him one hit away from tying Darin Ertad's club record for most hits in a month with 48.
"That's my biggest pet peeve," Weaver said of the 1-0 loss. "Two-nothing, OK. But one run, and having it be on a little hit over the shortstop's head, it's just kind of frustrating. But at the same time, it's like, 'What are you going to do?' You left it all out there. You gave your team a chance to win. Their pitching kept us on our heels."
The "little hit" was an RBI single by Mark Teahen over Orlando Cabrera's head that bounced into left field to score Joey Gathright for the only run of the contest.
Larry Santana is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.