Royals rally in 9th, beat Angels on Morales walk-off RBI in 10th
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hitting with two outs with runners on base in a key situation doesn't bother Kendrys Morales. He just focuses on getting a good swing.
Morales had an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night.
Morales leads with the majors with 42 RBI and a .332 average with two outs.
"I feel good in those type of situations and I'm full concentration and I'm looking for a good pitch to hit," Morales said with coach Pedro Grifol acting as his interpreter. "I was just looking to make hard contact and thank God it turned out OK."
Ben Zobrist singled with one out in the 10th, the Royals' first hit since Eric Hosmer's RBI single in the first inning. After Hosmer walked, Morales singled against Trevor Gott (2-1) as Kansas City improved to 7-2 in extra-inning games.
"He's really, really smart and he knows what he needs to do to try to get the job done," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Morales. "He wasn't trying to do too much, he wasn't trying to rip a homer, he wasn't trying to hit a gap. Just staying nice and smooth, take the ball right back up the middle."
Kelvin Herrera (4-2) pitched a perfect 10th to pick up the victory.
Zobrist reached base 13 times in the series with seven hits and six walks.
Kole Calhoun homered in the eighth off Wade Davis to put the Angels up 3-2.
Los Angeles closer Huston Street, however, couldn't hold the lead in the ninth. He walked the bases loaded before Alex Rios' sacrifice fly scored Hosmer to tie the score. Mike Trout then made a diving catch of Paulo Orlando's scorcher to right-center for the third out to preserve the tie.
The Angels have lost 17 of 23 and this defeat dropped them a half-game behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot.
"We have to get something going," Calhoun said. "We have to get a sense of urgency going."
Hector Santiago gave up two runs and three hits to the first four batters he faced, but didn't allow a hit after that before departing after seven innings.
Calhoun also tripled in the sixth and scored on a wild pitch before David Murphy homered.
Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura, who was 3-0 in his four previous starts, was pulled after seven innings and 105 pitches, allowing two runs and five hits, while striking out seven and walking one.
Alcides Escobar singled, his 32nd hit to leadoff the game, and scored on Zobrist's double. Zobrist scored on Hosmer's single that extended his streak to 10 games with a RBI, the longest in the majors this season.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez was ejected in the seventh for the first time in his career for arguing a called third strike by plate umpire Quinn Wolcott.
RHP Matt Shoemaker, who set an Angels' rookie record with 16 wins in 2014, was optioned Sunday to Triple-A Omaha after giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings in Saturday's loss to the Royals. "I kind of put myself in this position," Shoemaker said. "If I pitch better, it's not an issue. I've got to go out there and get better, fix some things and get back here as quick as I can."
ROYALS ADD VETERAN INSURANCE
Veteran pitchers Joba Chamberlain and Wandy Rodriguez agreed to minor-league contracts with the Royals and will report to their Triple-A Omaha affiliate.
Angels: RHP Cory Rasmus (right forearm strain) and INF Taylor Featherston (upper back strain) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (strained left groin) hopes to begin a rehab assignment next weekend with Triple-A Omaha.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney faces the White Sox on Monday for the second straight start. He allowed two earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings Wednesday in a no-decision at Chicago.
Royals: Edinson Volquez, who is 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in four interleague starts this season, starts the series opener Tuesday at Cincinnati.