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Royals 2, Angels 1(10)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)

Kansas City's offense was just fine once Joe Saunders was out of the way.

Mike Aviles doubled home the tying run in the ninth inning and Willie Bloomquist had an RBI single in the 10th, lifting the Royals to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

It was Kansas City's second win in 44 games when trailing after eight innings.

``We had better success against the relievers than we did against the starter,'' Aviles said. ``We had some good ABs late in the game. It would have been nice to have them earlier, but Saunders dealt the entire game.''

Bloomquist, who entered as a pinch-runner in the ninth and scored the tying run, lined a 1-2 pitch from Scot Shields to left field after a two-out intentional walk to David DeJesus. The hit scored Yuniesky Betancourt, who led off the inning with a single against Shields (0-3).

Robinson Tejeda (3-3) got one out for the win and Joakim Soria three outs for his 21st save in 23 chances.

Saunders took a six-hit shutout into the ninth, but issued a leadoff walk to Billy Butler and was pulled after 111 pitches.

``In my mind, I could have finished it,'' Saunders said. ``I felt good. I put up eight strong for us, but I'm pretty mad at myself for walking that guy. It's funny how that game turned around so quickly.''

Down to their last strike, the Royals tied it when Aviles drove a 2-2 fastball from closer Brian Fuentes to center field for a double that scored Bloomquist. The blown save was the fourth in 19 attempts for Fuentes, a four-time All-Star who led the majors last season with a career-high 48 saves.

``In that situation, I'm just sitting fastball, basically,'' Aviles said. ``He's a pitcher who throws a little funky. So if you're sitting on anything else, he can sneak the fastball by you. And I was fortunate enough to get the heater.''

The Angels had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, but third baseman Alberto Callaspo made a diving stop on Howie Kendrick's hard grounder in the hole and threw him out.

One inning earlier, Torii Hunter tried to score an insurance run when a pitch in the dirt from reliever Blake Wood got away from Jason Kendall. But the catcher recovered in time to make a lunging tag on Hunter's ankle as Wood neglected to cover home plate.

``I saw the pitcher not breaking for the plate and I saw the ball get away,'' Hunter said. ``As far as sliding, I saw J.K. diving to get me so I kept running because you're faster if you stay up. I tried to touch the outside of the plate, but it was a hell of a play by J.K.''

Saunders was charged with a run and six hits. The Angels began the second half of their schedule without left fielder Juan Rivera, who missed his third straight game because of blurred vision and might have to sit out the rest of this three-game series.

Royals right-hander Kyle Davies allowed a run and seven hits over 7 2-3 innings after going 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in five June starts. Three of the hits were singles by Hunter, who is 10 for 20 against Davies.

``He has his cutter working,'' Hunter said. ``Even though he got behind some guys, he battled back and kept the guys off-balance.''

Saunders took a four-hitter into the eighth before Wilson Betemit led off with a high chopper off the plate that neither Saunders nor catcher Jeff Mathis could make a play on. Scott Podsednik singled one out later, and Betemit advanced to third when Kendall flied out to right-center. DeJesus followed with a hard grounder toward the middle, but second baseman Kendrick made a diving backhanded stop and threw him out.

``When I'm up, they play me a little bit toward first base. So when I hit it, I was like, `Yes! I got it.' And the next thing I know, his glove comes out of nowhere,'' DeJesus said. ``But the karma came around when Alberto made that great diving play to end the inning. It got us rejuvenated and ready for the next inning.''

NOTES: Former Royals OF Bo Jackson, who led off the 1989 All-Star game with a long home run against Rick Reuschel the last time the event was held in Anaheim and was named the game's MVP, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Home Run Derby on July 12. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who played in the '89 midsummer classic in Anaheim, thinks the tradition of having each team with at least one player on the All-Star roster should be abolished because of the number of deserving candidates who are snubbed every year. ``If there's a team that doesn't have a legitimate All-Star representative or someone who's not having a year worthy of consideration, it's wrong to penalize some guy on another team who would have made it and gotten All-Star recognition,'' he said. ... The Angels signed RHP Cameron Bedrosian and OF Chevy Clark, who were selected at the tail end of the first round in last month's amateur draft. Bedrosian is the son of All-Star RHP Steve Bedrosian, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 1987.

Tagged: Royals, Angels, Torii Hunter, Willie Bloomquist, Joe Saunders, Mike Aviles, David DeJesus

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