ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Matt Quatraro has seen his share of frustrating things during his first month as the Kansas City Royals' manager. But on Saturday night, he saw his team battle back to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Royals scored five times in the ninth inning to rally for an 11-8 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“They were resilient and persevered. We had some pretty good at-bats throughout the night and then to put up a big inning late when they had their closer in there was encouraging," Quatraro said. “Things need to go your way a little bit. You get a number of balls that are hit hard over the last couple of weeks that don’t find holes, and it starts to even out.”
Kansas City trailed 8-6 going into the ninth after Matt Thaiss connected on a first-pitch slider from Jose Cuas (1-0) for a two-run homer in the eighth. But Angels reliever José Quijada (0-1) was unable to hold it.
MJ Melendez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the go-ahead run, and Hunter Dozier provided some insurance with a two-run single.
“We needed that, for sure,” said Dozier, who had three hits and three RBIs. “It was a fun game to be a part of. Hopefully we can build off of it.”
Quijada hit two Royals batters with pitches in the ninth. Nicky Lopez reached to lead off the inning after getting plunked and then scored when Kyle Isbel doubled off the right-center wall. Isbel advanced to third on a throwing error and scored to tie it at 8 on Edward Olivares’ one-out base hit.
Quijada loaded the bases with walks to Salvador Perez and Duffy before he hit Melendez with an 0-2 fastball to bring Olivares home with the go-ahead run.
“I was trying to throw a high pitch like I always throw to a lefty but I opened a little bit and it hit the batter,” Quijada said.
It was Quijada's first blown save in nine appearances this season. The left-hander allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning.
“I don’t think he located as well as he has. I mean, he’s pitched a lot lately, too. It’s just, tonight wasn’t his night,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said.
Scott Barlow retired the Angels in order for his second save.
The Angels lost despite hitting four home runs for the second time this season. Hunter Renfroe went deep twice and Mike Trout homered for the first time in two weeks.
It is the sixth time since 2020 the Angels have lost when hitting at least four homers.
ALL FOR NAUGHT
Renfroe had a pair of solo shots to left field for the 18th multi-homer game of his career. His homer in the fourth inning got the Angels to 3-2. It barely stayed fair and made it over the short wall in the left-field corner as Kansas City outfielder Nate Eaton was unable to get to it in time.
Renfroe's team-leading sixth homer leading off the sixth was a no-doubter.
Trout, out of Friday's lineup after the Angels' cross-country trip, had a two-run shot in the fifth for his fourth of the season.
NOT SO FAST
Kansas City appeared to get out of the sixth with a 6-5 lead after Zach Neto flied out, but plate umpire Mark Ripperger called a balk before the pitch, keeping the inning alive.
Brandon Drury advanced to second on the balk and scored the tying run two pitches later when Neto singled to right field.
“You’re not allowed to go out there to argue or talk about a balk. I certainly didn’t want to get kicked out at that time,” Quatraro said. “I did not go back yet to look at it. I’m assuming it was just that he didn’t stop. But it was definitely a frustrating time.”
997 AND COUNTING
Drury became the 997th major leaguer to strike out against Royals starter Zack Greinke. The veteran right-hander, who has 2,901 career Ks in 20 seasons, is looking to become the fifth pitcher to strike out 1,000 different players. The others are Nolan Ryan (1,182), Randy Johnson (1,123), Greg Maddux (1,049) and Roger Clemens (1,022).
Royals: LHP Daniel Lynch (rotator cuff strain) went two innings during an extended spring training outing.
Angels: OF Taylor Ward, who has two hits in his last 26 at-bats, got the night off.
The teams wrap up their weekend series Sunday. Kansas City RHP Jordan Lyles (0-3, 4.62 ERA), who has a 4-4 career mark against the Angels, takes on Reid Detmers (0-1, 4.50). The left-hander allowed five earned runs in his only previous start against the Royals last season.
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