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Royals-Angels Preview

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Things have gone well for the Los Angeles Angels during their longest homestand of the season. They hope Joe Saunders can again benefit from some rare home success.

The Angels look to continue their solid home play in the opener of a weekend set against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

Los Angeles (45-36) improved to 6-3 on the 12-game homestand with a 2-1 win over Texas on Thursday. The Angels took two of three each from the rival Dodgers, Colorado and the AL West-leading Rangers.

"They've got a pretty good team," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, whose team has a 3 1/2-game lead over the second-place Angels.

Los Angeles has a good chance to continue its home success against Kansas City (34-45). Though the Royals have won five of seven, they've lost four in a row at Los Angeles and 15 of 18 overall against the Angels. The Angels took three of four at Kansas City from May 31-June 3.

Saunders (6-8, 4.88 ERA) looks to build on his last outing and remain perfect against the Royals.

The left-hander avoided a third straight loss after he allowed two runs, four hits and struck out a season-high eight in seven innings of a 4-2 home win over Colorado on Saturday. Saunders is just 2-6 with a 6.18 ERA in nine home starts.

"It's a good start to build off of,'' Saunders said. "Everybody knows I haven't been pitching that well this year.

"Everyone knows I haven't pitched well at home. Hopefully, I'll be here for a while. It's a great park to pitch in."

Saunders has pitched well against Kansas City, going 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts. He tossed a five-hitter in a 1-0 victory in his only previous home start versus the Royals on May 9, 2009.

Kansas City's Jose Guillen is 5 for 10 against Saunders, and batting .362 with 16 RBIs in his last 24 games overall. He hit a three-run homer in a 7-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The Royals had 13 hits in that contest, and lead the majors with 777.

"Offensively we're playing up to expectations," outfielder Scott Podsednik told the Royals' official website. "When they put this club together in Spring Training, offensively we felt like we had a pretty good attack and right now we're showing that."

Kyle Davies (4-6, 6.06) looks to avoid a fourth consecutive loss as he takes the ball for the Royals.

The right-hander allowed five runs in seven innings of a 5-3 loss to St. Louis on Saturday to finish June 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in five starts.

Davies is 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA in three starts against the Angels. He gave up six runs in four innings of a 7-2 loss to Los Angeles on June 2.

Los Angeles' Torii Hunter is 7 for 17 with two doubles and a homer against Davies. He's batting .333 on the homestand, and .389 with two homers and five RBIs versus the Royals this season.

Tagged: Angels, Royals, Kyle Davies, Joe Saunders

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