07/10/2003 2:27 AM ET
Angels' long ball dooms Affeldt, KC
Mistakes prove costly for first-place Royals
By Sandy Burgin / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Shawn Wooten hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth
inning to propel the Anaheim Angels to a 5-3 victory over the
Royals Wednesday night before 34,196 fans at Edison Field.
Wooten's homer, over the short wall down the left-field line, was his
fifth of the season. It came off of Jeremy Affeldt (5-5) who had given up
singles to Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson leading off the inning as the
Angels erased the Royals' 3-2 lead.
Francisco Rodriguez, who came on in relief of Angels starter Kevin Appier in
the sixth, got the victory going two innings as he improved to 5-1.
Brendan Donnelly pitched a scoreless eighth before Troy Percival came on in
the ninth to pick up his 20th save, but not without a struggle. Brent Mayne
and pinch-hitter Jarrod Patterson opened the Kansas City ninth with singles.
Aaron Guiel lifted a deep fly to right field, which Eric Owens caught at the
wall. The Royals rolled the dice as both runners tagged up, but Owens'
throw to Gil nailed Patterson at second for a rare 9-6 double play.
"It was a mistake," said Royals manager Tony Peña of Patterson's attempt to
go to second. "In that situation right there we wanted to give our best
hitters a chance. There was no reason for (Patterson) tagging up in that
situation. It was a mental mistake."Percival came back and got Desi Relaford on a fly to center and the Angels
had the victory.
Despite the loss the Royals remained 4 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota and 5
1/2 games ahead of Chicago in the AL Central as both of those teams also
It was a collision at home between KC's Ken Harvey and Angels catcher Bengie
Molina that appeared to change the momentum of the game in the sixth inning.
The Royals, who had trailed, 2-0, put three runs on the board in the top of
the sixth to take a 3-2 lead and had a chance for possibly more when Harvey
was thrown out at home on double steal.
Harvey, who had doubled home the tying run was at third when the Angels walked Mayne intentionally to get to Carlos Febles,
who quickly fell behind in the count, 0-2.
That's when Mayne broke for second and Rodriguez wheeled around
and threw to shortstop Benji Gil, who threw home to Molina, who was
waiting there with the ball when Harvey bowled him over. Molina hung on to the
ball and Harvey was out.
"It was just baseball," said Harvey. "It wasn't like I went out of the way
to try to get him. It's just old school, it's how you're taught to play the
Harvey said he got to speak to Molina the next inning when he (Molina)
grounded out. "I said, 'No hard feelings,'" Harvey said. "And he said, 'Same
here.' It's baseball. If I went out of my way to try to do something it
would have been a different story. That's just the way the game is played."
Relaford had opened the Royals' sixth inning with a triple. He came home on a
single to right by Carlos Beltran.
Raul Ibañez followed with a grounder up the middle that looked like a
double-play ball. However, the ball hit off the glove of Gil and
went on into center field. It was ruled a single with Beltran motoring on to
That was all for Angels starter Appier, who gave way to Rodriguez, who was
greeted with a booming double to right-center by Harvey scoring Beltran as
the Royals tied the game, 2-2.
Rodriguez got Michael Tucker on a popup, but Angel Berroa delivered a deep
fly to center scoring Ibañez with the go-ahead run as the Royals took a
While it was the home-run ball that led to Affeldt's ultimate downfall in
the sixth, it was a walk and a balk that caused him problems earlier in the
In the fourth, Affeldt walked Salmon leading off the inning. Salmon went
to third on a single to center by Anderson. Affeldt got Troy Glaus,
playing in his club record 750th game at third base, to hit into a 4-6-3
double play but Salmon scored the games' first run.
In the fifth, Gil singled to center with one out. With Adam Kennedy at bat,
Affeldt was called for a balk as he tried to pick off Gil at first. Affeldt
got Kennedy on a popup to Febles for the second out, but Darin Erstad came
through with a single to center on a 3-2 pitch scoring Gil for a 2-0
"He (Affeldt) was throwing the ball good," said Peña. "I don't think the
balk affected him at all. He just made a mistake on the one pitch (to
Wooten) and it cost him the ballgame.
"I tell you what this ballclub never quits," Peña said. "We just keep
coming. We could have hung it up after they (Angels) took the lead. But we
kept bouncing back. They play hard and I'm happy the way we play."
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the
approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.