Anaheim, Calif. Mike Aviles singled home the tying run in the ninth inning, and Willie Bloomquist had an RBI single in the 10th, lifting the Kansas City Royals to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Bloomquist, who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the ninth and scored the tying run, lined a 1-2 pitch from Scot Shields to left field after a two-out intentional walk to David DeJesus. The hit scored Yuniesky Betancourt, who led off the inning with a single against Shields (0-3).
Robinson Tejeda (3-3) got one out for the win, and Joakim Soria coaxed three outs for his 21st save in 22 chances.
Joe Saunders took a six-hit shutout into the ninth, but issued a leadoff walk to Billy Butler and was pulled after 111 pitches. Down to their last strike, the Royals tied it when Aviles drove a 2-2 pitch from closer Brian Fuentes to center field for a double that scored Bloomquist.
The Angels began the second half of their schedule without left fielder Juan Rivera, who missed his third straight game because of blurred vision and may have to sit out the rest of this three-game series.
The Angels had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, but third baseman Alberto Callaspo made a diving stop on Howie Kendrick’s hard grounder in the hole and threw him out.
One inning earlier, Torii Hunter tried to score an insurance run when a pitch in the dirt from reliever Blake Wood got away from Jason Kendall. But Kendall recovered in time to make a lunging tag on Hunter as Wood neglected to cover home plate.
Saunders was charged with a run and six hits, struck out four and walked two.
Royals right-hander Kyle Davies allowed a run and seven hits over 72⁄3 innings after going 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in five starts during June. Three of the hits against him were singles by Hunter, who is 10-for-20 against Davies.
Saunders took a four-hitter into the eighth before Wilson Betemit led off the inning with a high chopper off the plate that neither Saunders nor catcher Jeff Mathis could make a play on. Scott Podsednik singled one out later, and Betemit advanced to third after Kendall flied out to right-center. DeJesus followed with a hard grounder toward the middle, but second baseman Kendrick made a diving backhanded stop and threw him out.
Notes: Former Royals OF Bo Jackson, who led off the 1989 All-Star game with a home run off Rick Reuschel the last time the event was held at Anaheim and was named the game’s MVP, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before Monday’s All-Star Home Run Derby at the Big A. ... The Angels signed RHP Cameron Bedrosian and OF Chevy Clark, who were selected at the tail end of the first round in last month’s draft.