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Royals 5, Angels 4: Three Up, Three Down

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Angels continued to struggle to score and their bullpen blew a two-run lead as they lost their second straight game to the Kansas City Royals, 5-4 at Kauffman Stadium Saturday.

THE GOOD

Bearing down. The Angels were batting .125 (3-for-24) with runners in scoring position this year when Vernon Wells came to the plate with two runners on in the sixth inning. Wells lined a single to left (kind of what they got him for) and Alberto Callaspo smacked one to right to drive in two runs and give the Angels a lead.

The glove. Peter Bourjos has a chance to be the best center fielder in baseball. That’s assuming he isn’t already. The 24-year old made an over-the-shoulder grab on Melky Cabrera’s deep drive in the seventh inning to save two runs. It should get some Web Gem love.

A little magic. So far, the Angels pitching rotation has been predictable. Jered Weaver, the No. 1 starter, was dominant, Dan Haren, No. 2, was strong and Ervin Santana was decent. He looked a bit out of rhythm in his last three innings, but he still carried the ball into the seventh inning and allowed three runs on six strikeouts.

THE BAD

No relief. Kevin Jepsen has had a miserable start to his season, as have most Angels relievers. He couldn’t throw strikes on Opening Day and the Royals had four line-drive hits off him Saturday to score the tying and winning runs. The eighth inning duties were his to lose and he might be on the verge of surrendering them.

Instincts. Somehow, Callaspo started on second base and got thrown out at the plate after a double that smacked off the center-field wall. You’ve got to either be slow or get a bad read to do that. Callaspo had both working against him. He was standing less than 15 feet from second base when the ball landed. He should have been halfway to third, since it would have been nearly 300-foot throw for Cabrera, who had his back to the infield.

Killer instincts. The Angels had opportunities in the seventh and eighth to put Kansas City away, but stranded three in the seventh and then had the Callaspo base-running adventure. They have let Kansas City stick around all series and that’s how you lose to bad teams. The Angels managed just four runs on 11 hits.