ANAHEIM -- The Angels' veteran hitters got crafty in a 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals that snapped a six-game losing streak.
Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu sparked the winning rally with back-to-back one-out walks in the seventh inning. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch by Royals reliever Aaron Crow. The Angels started their most veteran lineup of the season and the result was the first game since May 30 in which the team has scored more than three runs.
A lead! A lead! The Angels scored four times in the second inning, aided by Chris Getz's error. That gave them their first lead in a week. Erick Aybar had the key blow, a three-run triple into the right-field corner on a low, inside slider from Felipe Paulino.
Waking up. Vernon Wells had his first three-hit game of the season and scored three runs. He has looked as comfortable in the Angel Stadium batter's box the last two nights as he has all season. Maybe returning to the cleanup spot, his old haunt in Toronto, helped spark him.
Regrouping. Jordan Walden looked as if he were about to blow the first good news the Angels have had in a week when he gave up a line-drive single and a double off Mark Trumbo's glove to open the ninth, but after that he got nasty. He struck out Eric Hosmer on a 96-mph shoulder-high fastball and Jeff Francoeur on a 97-mph fastball inside, then got Billy Butler to fly out.
Pineiro's rut. It was more mediocrity from Joel Pineiro, who has been hit hard since early May. Updating Pineiro's numbers, he was 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA after his first four starts and he's 0-3 with a 5.93 ERA since then. The Angels handed him a four-run lead and he gradually leaked it back over six innings. Pineiro remains stuck on 99 career wins.
Injuries. The Angels had just gotten back to full strength -- minus Kendrys Morales, of course -- three days earlier. Now, they could be without their fourth-leading hitter and No. 3 RBI guy, Alberto Callaspo, who appeared to strain his left hamstring stealing second base in the seventh inning.
Testing Torii. Why do teams continue to run on Hunter? He doesn't have the sheer arm strength of, say, Vladimir Guerrero in his prime, but he's smart -- sometimes baiting runners -- and accurate. Hunter threw out Melky Cabrera at the plate in the seventh inning for his eighth outfield assist, tying him with Shin-Soo Choo for the AL lead.