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Archive for Sunday, July 3, 2005

Only hiccup for Colon is illness

Los Angeles starter slowed by virus in victory over K.C.

July 3, 2005

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— Until a nagging virus caught up with Bartolo Colon, the Kansas City Royals never came close.

The Los Angeles Angels' burly right-hander "hit a wall" in the eighth inning Saturday night after retiring 19 in a row. He wound up with 71â3 solid innings and a 5-3 victory over the Royals, who have lost 10 of 11.

Colon (11-4) had been fighting the virus since the Angels were in Texas earlier in the week. He took a one-hitter into the eighth, but wilted after Emil Brown led off with a double.

"Throughout the game, I actually felt pretty good considering the way I felt over in Texas," Colon said through an interpreter. "But it seems like in that inning I had trouble breathing. It's all related to the same viral thing I've been fighting since my start (at Texas). But overall, I'm glad we came out with that 'W.'"

After giving up a single to Tony Graffanino and a two-run single to Ruben Gotay, Colon conferred on the mound with the team trainer and manager Mike Scioscia before walking into the dugout.

"I was kind of worried only because I was trying to get a deep breath," Colon said. "They told me I was a little pale."

Colon, who hopes to be named to the All-Star team today, gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"He felt good between innings," Scioscia said. "He was working hard. I think it just zapped him. He was pitching a terrific game."

Chone Figgins had three hits and scored twice for the AL West-leading Angels. Francisco Rodriguez earned his 15th save in 17 chances.

Jose Lima (1-7) gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings, and his future with the Royals could be in question. The veteran right-hander now has only one win in 17 starts this year and an ERA of 7.58. His 73 earned runs and 80 total runs allowed are the most among AL pitchers.

"I thought Lima was OK and he stayed out of the big inning," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "His command was a little bit better. Overall, he gave us a chance to win the ballgame."

Lima says he would not accept a move to the bullpen.

"I don't make the decision. I cannot get a break," he said. "I'm not a bullpen guy. Like I said, it's not my decision. I'm not here to start a war."

After an 11-4 stretch when Bell replaced Tony Pena, the Royals have slipped back to their losing ways.

"The Tony stuff, getting fired, we're struggling," Lima said. "What else can happen? A bomb on the field? I know we're young."

Darin Erstad brought Figgins home with an RBI single in the first inning, then Garret Anderson doubled Figgins home in the third.

After Dallas McPherson had an RBI double in the fourth, Erstad singled, went to second on Lima's wild pitch and made it 4-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero.

Maicer Izturis singled home a run in the eighth that gave the Angels a 5-0 lead.

Mike Sweeney grounded a ball up the middle with two outs in the first for an infield single, but the Royals did not get another baserunner until Brown's double.

Gotay's two-run single broke Kansas City's 21-inning scoreless streak.

"After Sweeney got the infield hit, it seemed like I was able to bear down," Colon said.

He insisted he's not worried about making his next start.

"Five more days, God willing, I'll be ready to go again."

Second baseman Gotay and shortstop Angel Berroa turned an impressive double play in the fourth. Gotay snared Adam Kennedy's grounder with a dive to his right and then flipped the ball to Berroa for the forceout while still on the ground. Berroa's throw then barely beat the runner to first.

"It's always positive when you make plays like that and get things done," Gotay said.

"We didn't hit the ball in the beginning but at least something positive happened in the end and maybe we can carry that into tomorrow."

Notes: INF Orlando Cabrera, who has averaged 160 games the past four seasons, will be headed for the DL on Sunday with inflammation of the right elbow. He has missed eight of the last 10 games. The Angels made the announcement in the eighth inning. ... Izturis' RBI single in the fourth stretched his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games. ... The Royals have lost 10 of their last 11.

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