Joe Saunders' Eight Innings Strong Not Enough To Finish Royals

Danny Hauger@@DannyHaugerCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 02:  Joe Saunders #51 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Angel Stadium on July 2, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

While lefty starter Joe Saunders came out strong through eight innings on Friday night at Angel Stadium, Brian Fuentes was not able to slam the door on a 1-0 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

Kansas City's Mike Aviles was able to break through the shutout attempt with an RBI hit, his second hit of the ballgame, forcing the Angels to extend into extra innings where the Halos would fall short 2-1 to the Royals in Game 1 of a holiday weekend in Southern California.

A tide-turning attempt to steal home by Torii Hunter in the bottom of the 8th affected the outcome of the ballgame.  Hunter scored the only run for the Angels in the bottom of the fourth driven in by a Mike Napoli drive.  Each team had nine hits in the game but struggled to advance runners from scoring position.

A pitcher's duel turned to a seven-inning gridlock between Davies and Saunders which was disrupted in extra innings by a Bloomquist RBI which brought in Betancourt for the game-taking lead which the Angels could not respond to in the bottom of the tenth inning.

The Angels hope to tie up the holiday series on Saturday night when they send Ervin Santana to the mound, seeking his ninth victory on the season as he faces off with Bruce Chen of the Royals. 

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