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Poor Start Dooms Angels Against Royals


If the Angels sink any deeper, they might soon be dedicating this season to Jules Verne.

They outplayed the Kansas City Royals for the final seven innings Friday night, but they couldn't overcome their early blunders and lost, 5-3, before 35,977 in Anaheim Stadium.

That's five losses in a row and 10 in their last 11 games, a skid that has dropped the Angels 11 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers, their largest deficit this season and the furthest the club has been off the pace since the final day of the 1993 season, when they were 23 games behind.

Frustration is mounting with each loss, as batting instructor Rod Carew became the fourth Angel this week to be ejected for arguing with an umpire, his verbal tirade at Tim McClelland earning him a one-way ticket to the clubhouse between the sixth and seventh innings.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds was so disgusted he decided afterward that he's going to stop talking to reporters, "because everything that's written is bad," he said.

"When it gets better, I'll talk, but I don't want to contribute to the back-stabbing, the griping, the bad stories and television reports.

"I've had enough."

The Angels trailed, 5-0, after five innings Friday night, and interim Manager John McNamara called their late-game surge "a good sign," but squandered opportunities were still the theme of the evening.

Rex Hudler's leadoff homer in the sixth pulled the Angels to within 5-1, and Chili Davis and Edmonds singled with one out. But Michael Tucker fielded Tim Salmon's bloop to shallow right field and forced Edmonds at second, and Randy Velarde grounded out to end the inning.

Hudler tripled to open the eighth and scored on Gary DiSarcina's double to make it 5-2. Chili Davis struck out, but Edmonds singled in a run to make it 5-3, and Salmon walked to put runners on first and second.

But Kansas City closer Jeff Montgomery came on to retire Velarde on a fly ball to center and Anderson on a grounder in front of the plate, and Montgomery retired the side in order in the ninth for his 22nd save.

"We had a couple of big hits tonight," McNamara said, "but when it meant something, we didn't get enough."

The first two innings couldn't have been any uglier for the Angels. The Royals advanced runners twice on stolen bases, once on a wild pitch, once on an ill-advised throw and once on an error.

Jose Offerman opened the game with a homer and Tom Goodwin singled, stole second and third, and scored on Mike Macfarlane's groundout to make it 2-0 in the first.

Tucker singled to start the second and advanced on a wild pitch by Mark Langston (6-5). Two outs later, he scored on David Howard's RBI single. Offerman doubled to put runners on first and third, and the speedy Goodwin singled to left.

Offerman scored easily and Garret Anderson's throw sailed past catcher Todd Greene and allowed Goodwin to take third. Craig Paquette struck out to end the inning, but the Royals had a 5-0 lead.

The Angels had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but J.T. Snow looked at a knee-high fastball from Kansas City starter Jose Rosado (3-2) for a called third strike.

Rosado then lunged into the Kansas City dugout to make a magnificent catch of Greene's popup to end the inning, bruising his left hand and left knee, injuries that knocked the left-hander out of the game.

Said Royal Manager Bob Boone: "That was his biggest out of the game."

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