Angels beat Royals 5-3

ANAHEIM Yet after inducing 11 ground balls over 6 1-3 solid innings in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night, the lanky right-hander was still upset about walking leadoff batters in back-to-back innings.

"The two leadoff walks killed me. I'm a better pitcher than that. I shouldn't let that happen," Garland said. "But for the most part, coming out and getting strike one was big tonight. If you can go deep into a game with this team, you're going to have a chance to win with our offense."

Garland (2-2) allowed seven hits with three walks and a strikeout. The nine-year veteran has beaten Kansas City more often than any other club, going 17-6 against the Royals and 11-1 at home - including a three-hit shutout the last time he faced them on Sept. 26 at Chicago. This was the first time he faced them in anything but a White Sox uniform.

"He did his thing. He got ground balls and got outs," Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek said. "He's a pretty consistent pitcher, and if you're not on your game he's going to eat you up a little bit. We made some good swings at him, but he pretty much kept us off-balance on both sides of the plate."

Garret Anderson doubled in three runs for the Angels, who were without the services of All-Star right fielder Vladimir Guerrero because of a bruised right index finger he injured while batting in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss. Erick Aybar had an RBI double and scored another run on a grounder with the infield in.

Francisco Rodriguez followed Justin Speier and Scot Shields out of the bullpen and pitched another nervous ninth for his sixth save. K-Rod gave up three hits, including a one-out RBI single by Alberto Callaspo. It was the only run he has given up to the Royals in 20 1-3 career innings against them.

"That's four out of five games for Frankie. It's not going to be clean every night, but he made pitches when he had to and he got the job done," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He may not be as locked in as he will be, but give it some time. We anticipate he'll be every bit the pitcher he was the last four years for us."

Grudzielanek, who came in with a .347 average, was 0-for-5 and did not hit a ball out of the infield. Speier escaped a based-loaded jam in the seventh by getting him to hit a grounder to third for a force play on the first pitch he threw him.

"I was in a weird, weird zone today," Grudzielanek said. "I anticipated a little bit instead of what I usually do - which is see the ball, hit the ball. I was drifting a little bit tonight, and it cost us."

Brett Tomko (1-2) gave up five runs and six hits over seven innings in his first start at Angel Stadium since April 2001, with Seattle.

The right-hander was staked to a 1-0 lead on David DeJesus' RBI single in the third inning before giving up Anderson's three-run double off the wall in right-center in the bottom half. Anderson's first career hit off Tomko followed a two-out walk to Gary Matthews Jr.

"The walk was probably the biggest at-bat because it brought Anderson to the plate. We were one pitch away from getting out of it," catcher John Buck said. "We were trying to go with a breaking ball in the dirt to Anderson, but Brett just hung it. You can't hang many pitches to Anderson because he's a pretty good hitter."

Former Angels malcontent Jose Guillen shrugged off the booing from the crowd of 40,021 and doubled home a run in the Royals' fourth, but Los Angeles increased its margin to 5-3 with a pair of fifth-inning runs. Jeff Mathis and Aybar opened the inning with doubles, and Aybar beat the throw home from Grudzielanek on Matthews' one-out fielder's-choice grounder with the infield in.

DeJesus, who missed 12 of Kansas City's first 15 games because of a sprained right ankle, played three innings before leaving with a jammed big toe on his left foot. He was replaced in center field by Joey Gathright.

Notes: Royals LHP John Bale, who complained about having a "dead arm" after giving up five runs over three innings in Tuesday's loss at Seattle, was placed on the 15-day disabled list - retroactive to April 16 - because of what the team described as shoulder fatigue. He is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA in three starts, after pitching exclusively in relief last season. ... The Royals recalled former Angels RHP Joel Peralta from Triple-A Omaha. He was a combined 2-6 with a 4.07 ERA for the Kansas City over the previous two seasons, all in relief, after making 28 appearances out of the bullpen for the Angels as a rookie in 2005.


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