Royals-Angels: Brian Bannister Drops Fourth Straight

Sean EdmistonContributor IMay 6, 2008

One could say the American League's lowest-scoring offense didn't disapoint in this one, again. One night after the Royals failed to score any runs against the American League West-leading Los Angeles Angels, the Angels scored just enough to win their third straight against Kansas City. Los Angeles slugger Garret Anderson drove in all five runs scored by the Angels Tuesday night.

Kansas City's missed chances started at the very beginning of the game. Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero came up to face Royals starting pitcher Brian Bannister with two out and nobody on in the top of the first.

Guerrero proceeded to hit a line drive into deep center field, where Kansas City center fielder Joey Gathright looked to have pulled off a highlight reel catch as he crashed into Kaufman Stadium's outfield wall, but the ball barely missed Gathright's glove, and dribbled onto the warning track.

Royals right fielder Mark Teahen picked up the ball and heaved it toward second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who relayed the throw to third baseman Alex Gordon. However, Gordon couldn't handle the hard throw from Grudzielanek, and Guerrero slid into third with a two-out triple.

Angels starter Nick Adenhart retired Gathright, Grudzielanek, and David DeJesus on fifteen pitches in the bottom of the first, before Bannister sent the Angels down in order in the top of the second, the only time the struggling right hander would accomplish this feat on Tuesday night.

In the bottom of the second it appeared as if Adenhart would retire the Royals in order for a second-straight inning. DH Billy Butler popped out to Angels Shortstop Eric Aybar on the first pitch of the inning, before Gordon lined an 0-1 pitch from Adenhart straight into Vladimir Guerrero's glove. Adenhart then walked Teahen on five pitches to give Kansas City their first base runner of the evening.

Kansas City catcher Miguel Olivo then gave the Royals their first run of the series, when Angels center fielder Torii Hunter couldn't run down Olivo's line drive, and Teahen scored from first. In the next at bat, Royals first baseman Ross Gload smoked a low, line drive into the right-field corner, and scored Olivo from second giving the Royals a 2-0 lead.

The Royals struck again in the bottom of the third. With two out, Billy Butler doubled to left field, then Alex Gordon's double to left field scored Butler, giving Kansas City a 3-0 edge—and their last run of the evening.

To lead off the top of the fourth, Casey Kotchman took a 2-1 pitch from Bannister into right field before a Torii Hunter double advanced him to third. Garret Anderson took the very next pitch to right field, where Teahen nearly made a highlight reel catch before it hit the top of the wall and fell onto the terrace, tying the game at three.

Anderson got to Bannister again in the top of the fifth when he singled to right field to score Guerrero from third, and again in the top of the seventh when he singled to center to score Guerrero from third.

Bannister, who has now lost four straight after beginning the season 3-0, gave up an infield single to Brandon Wood before being replaced by Ron Mahay, who retired Sean Rodriguez to finish off the side.

In the bottom of the seventh, Dejesus, Butler, and Gordon managed to load the bases with just one out. But then Mark Teahen struck out and Miguel Olivo popped out to leave the bases loaded, and squander a game tying oppurtunity. Kansas City was retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings as the Angels took their third straight, as well as the season series, from a Kansas City team that had won six straight against them up until two weeks ago.

The Royals will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow night as they send right-hander Zack Greinke to the hill to face Los Angeles right-hander Jerrod Weaver.