Valencia sparks Royals' three-run inning in 13th to beat Angels
MAY 25, 2014 12:20a ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Danny Valencia was not about to let a sore left hand keep him from finishing his at-bat in the 13th inning. He gutted it out and came up with a key hit to help the Kansas City Royals outlast the Los Angeles Angels.
Valencia ignited a three-run rally with a leadoff double, before Jarrod Dyson replaced him on the bases and scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by rookie reliever Mike Morin. The Royals went on to beat the Angels 7-4 Saturday night.
"We're trying to win games and lay it all out there. Anybody else would have done the same thing," Valencia said. "Fortunately I got a hit there, because it would have looked even worse if I didn't."
Valencia felt discomfort on two earlier swings and was checked out by manager Ned Yost and a trainer. After convincing them he was all right, he lined Morin's 3-2 pitch off the fence in left-center and slid headfirst into second.
"There was a 3-1 pitch I fouled off and my hand slipped off the bat a little weird," Valencia said. "I told Ned: 'There's no way I'm coming out right now.' He said, 'This is a big at-bat,' and I said, 'I know it's a big at-bat, but I've got this.' The first thought on my mind was not making someone come off the bench with a 3-2 count after sitting on the bench for four hours."
"I got to it quick and Howie was still getting to first base," Morin said. "I had more time than I thought I did, and I was trying to guide the ball to meet him at the bag, but it sailed on me."
The Royals tied it in the seventh when Hosmer scored on a double-play grounder by Salvador Perez with the bases loaded. The run was charged to Sean Burnett, who faced only one batter and gave up Hosmer's leadoff single through the box. It was Burnett's second appearance since his comeback from elbow surgery last August.
"That's a good hitting team over there. They grind out at-bats and they worked up my pitch count quite a bit today," Shields said. "But our bullpen did a phenomenal job. It's been good all season long, and today they showed why they're as good as they are."
Angels rookie Matt Shoemaker was charged with three runs — two earned — and eight hits in five innings while striking out six. The right-hander was making his third start since he was inserted into the rotation on May 13.
The Angels were trailing 3-0 when Aybar got them on the board in the fourth inning with his third homer of the season, a line drive that just made it into the first row of seats in the right field corner after a leadoff double by Raul Ibanez.
Los Angeles pulled ahead 4-3 with two runs in the fifth. Trout led off with a towering drive into the rock pile beyond the fence in left-center, and Albert Pujols followed with another deep flyball that looked like it was going out as well.
Left fielder Alex Gordon leaped above the bullpen fence and got his glove on it before it bounced off his cap, shoulder, chin and arm — then landed in his glove while he was on the seat of his pants. Third-base umpire Andy Fletcher ruled it a catch, but manager Mike Scioscia challenged the call and Pujols ended up with a double after a video review.
"Somebody must have seen something on one of the angles," Yost said. "But on the replays we saw on the big screen, I sure couldn't tell if it hit the fence or not."
It was the 2,400th career hit for Pujols, who took third on a groundout and scored the go-ahead run on Shields' wild pitch to Aybar.
A two-out error by Trout in center field led to an unearned run during Kansas City's two-run third. Aoki and Hosmer opened the inning with singles, and Aoki scored on Butler's first sacrifice fly. One out later, Perez hit a sinking liner that broke off Trout's glove as he charged the ball on the dead run, and Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI single.
Trout's error was his second this season, matching his total in 148 games in the outfield last year. ... Escobar has been successful on 43 of his last 44 stolen-base attempts, including all 22 last season. ... For the second consecutive year, Trout's 10th homer of the season came against the Royals in his 47th game. ... Neither starting pitcher had a 1-2-3 inning.