Angels 4, Royals 3

The Los Angeles bullpen had no room for error the final 3 1-3

innings Sunday. The Angels also have no margin for error in the

final 15 games of the season if they hope to make the playoffs.

Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer and Dan Haren pitched

effectively into the sixth inning as the Angels beat the Kansas

City Royals 4-3 on Sunday.

After Haren departed, the Royals managed just one hit off Angels

relievers Nick Maronde, Garrett Richards, Scott Downs, Jordan

Walden and Kevin Jespen.

”Our bullpen came in and just got out after out in a game where

they’ve got some guys that can drive the ball on their side where

one mistake can tie the game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

”These guys are pitching with their backs against the wall and did

a great job.”

The Angels are third in the AL wild-card standings, where the

top two qualify – two games behind Oakland and Baltimore.

”We’re in a situation where we have to pay attention to the

standings,” Scioscia said. ”Everything is not totally in our

control, but if we keep winning you keep pressure on the teams.

”Forget winning series. We’re talking about winning every

pitch. That’s where we are. The only thing we control is how we

play. We need to bring it for the last 15 games. It’s getting to

the point of the season, where we’re going to have to get some

help. Cause if every team wins out and we win out, we’re on the

outside looking in.”

Trumbo, who had hit just .177 with 62 strikeouts in his previous

37 games to drop his average from .306 to .268, homered off Will

Smith (5-8) in the second inning.

Haren (11-11) improved to 3-1 in his past four starts, holding

the Royals to three runs, two earned, and five hits, while walking

one and striking out five. He also moved to 4-0 in five career

starts at Kansas City.

”The amount of games we can lose is very limited, so every loss

hurts,” Haren said. ”It’s not that we’re not trying to catch

Texas. For us rather than scoreboard watch, our games are so

important. We just can’t lose that many games. Every game is so

magnified right now.”

Torii Hunter, who has 17 RBIs in his past 18 games, singled home

Erick Aybar, who had doubled, in the first inning.

After closer Ernesto Frieri gave up two home runs in the ninth

Saturday to blow a save and take the loss and throwing 30 pitches

in a game Friday, Jespen was summoned in the ninth and picked up

his second save in four chances. Jespen has held opponents to one

earned run in 11 2-3 innings in his last 12 outings.

The Angels got a major scare in the fourth inning when

outfielders Mike Trout and Hunter collided while chasing Billy

Butler’s double to right-center. Scioscia and the trainer came out,

but both remained in the game. Butler wound up scoring on Howie

Kendrick’s throwing error after Jeff Francoeur’s infield single,

trimming the Angels’ lead to 4-3.

Tony Abreu led off the Kansas City third with his first home run

in nearly two years. Abreu’s previous home run was Sept. 26, 2010,

while with Arizona against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Salvador Perez, who had the walk-off homer Saturday, doubled to

lead off the second, advanced to third on Mike Moustakas’ ground

out and scored on Jeff Francoeur’s ground out for the Royals’ first

run.

Smith gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks in five

innings.

”It didn’t start out the way I wanted to,” Smith said.

”Trumbo’s homer was a two-seamer right down the middle. He’s a

good hitter. He did what he’s supposed to do with it.

”After the home run I started to dial it up. I need to do it in

the first inning, not the third inning after giving up four

runs.”

NOTES: DH Albert Pujols was not in the original Angels lineup

after his wife gave birth to a daughter, Esther Grace, at 3:30 a.m.

Sunday at a Kansas City hospital. Pujols, who went to high school

and junior college in the Kansas City area, arrived at Kauffman

Stadium and told Scioscia he was `’ready to DH.” … RHP Ervin

Santana, who was struck by a line drive in the right forearm on

Wednesday against Oakland, will likely start Friday against

Chicago, giving him eight days between starts. … RHP Jake

Odorizzi, the Royals’ top pitching prospect, was promoted from

Triple-A Omaha, which was eliminated Saturday by Reno in the

Pacific Coast League championship series. He was 11-3 with a 2.93

ERA with Omaha. The Royals also called up four others from Omaha: C

Adam Moore, IF Irving Falu, LHP Tommy Hottovy and RHP Nate Adcock.

… Both teams are off Monday. The Angels open a homestand Tuesday

against AL West-division leading Texas.