Kansas City, Mo. — So was this the best game Ervin Santana ever threw?
"So far," the Los Angeles Angels' unbeaten right-hander said, a sly smile spreading across his face.
In his first complete game since the night he got his first major-league victory in 2005, Santana (6-0) allowed four hits and no walks and struck out nine in a masterful 4-0 victory Monday night over Kansas City.
Garret Anderson and Brandon Wood hit consecutive homers in a four-run ninth for the Angels, who now have a claim to pitching fame.
Santana joined teammate Joe Saunders at 6-0, becoming the third and fourth Angels pitchers to open a season 6-0 or better. Since 1920, Saunders and Santana are just the eighth pair of teammates to start 6-0.
Erick Aybar tripled into the right-center field gap leading off the ninth off Ramon Ramirez. With one out, left-hander Jimmy Gobble came in to face lefty Casey Kotchman, who hit the first pitch for a run-scoring single.
With two out, Anderson homered off Joel Peralta and then Wood followed with his home run.
Royals starter Brett Tomko went seven shutout innings in his best outing of the year. The left-hander, who entered the game 1-3 with a 6.26 ERA, allowed only two hits and two walks and struck out seven before giving way to Ramirez starting the eighth. Tomko allowed only one runner as far as second and struck out the side in the third inning.
Royals manager Trey Hillman elected to go with relievers Ramirez, Gobble and Peralta instead of closer Joakim Soria, who has not been scored upon in 13 innings and got the saves in victories over Cleveland on Saturday and Sunday.
"I could have made a better decision to put Soria in," said Hillman. "But I didn't because it was tied, and he would have worked three days in a row."