ANAHEIM, Calif.(AP) Facing the stingiest pitcher in the American League this season,
had the game of his career.
Los Angeles Angels
' left-hander bested
, tossing a five-hitter to lead the Angels to a 1-0 victory against the
Kansas City Royals
on Saturday night.
''You know that if you give up one or two (runs) you might lose,'' Saunders said. ''For me I had to bring my A game tonight;
the A-plus game, really, to beat that guy the way he's been throwing.''
Greinke (6-1) had won his first six starts, while posting a microscopic ERA of less than half a run. He was excellent again
versus Los Angeles, allowing four hits, no walks and one run in a complete game. His ERA rose to 0.51.
''(My stuff) was all right - I can't complain but not good enough,'' said Greinke, who had three-ball counts on six of the
first seven batters he faced. ''It was a tough game.
''A loss is a loss. It might be a little tougher, but the end result is the same thing.''
Saunders (5-1) was even better, posting his first career shutout and second complete game.
' sacrifice fly in the third inning was all the support he needed. Figgins also came up big with his glove.
Saunders had to work out of a second-and-third situation with one out in the eighth. Figgins got the second out when he tagged
running from second base on a ground ball from
at the plate, Figgins had to go to his right, toward the line, where he made a sliding stop of a sharp grounder. He then threw
across the diamond to get DeJesus by a step and end the inning.
Saunders clapped the back of his glove and emphatically pointed at Figgins while leaving the mound. Figgins got the revenge
he was seeking after DeJesus made a catch on his line drive in the first inning.
''I know he's going to want to make a play on me,'' DeJesus said. ''That's what he said to me: 'You robbed me; I'm going to
rob you.' Hey, what can you do?''
Saunders closed out the victory by striking out
to open the ninth and sealed it by getting
to fly out to center field. It was the Angels' first shutout since
did it on May 5 of last year.
''Just for us to win like we did, it's very pleasing as a player to know that you can do something like that,'' Saunders said.
''You know it's in you but you haven't done it yet so when it finally comes out it's very rewarding to yourself. It's just
an awesome feeling.''
The Angels scratched out a third-inning run against the Greinke. Gary Matthews Jr. led off the third with a double to right
's sacrifice bunt moved Matthews to third base and Figgins followed with a sacrifice fly ball to center field.
The run snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak for Greinke. He opened the season without allowing a run through in his first
four starts. He gave up just four hits to the Angels.
The Royals also missed out on a scoring chance in the fifth inning when Butler led off with a walk that was followed by
Saunders then retired the bottom of the Royals' lineup in order. He got No. 7 hitter
on foul popup, retired Olivo on a strikeout swinging and ended the threat by getting
to pop out to first.
Notes: The Royals are expected to appeal an official scorer's ruling in Friday's game that gave the Angels'
an inside-the-park home run. Television replays appeared to show the ball clipped off the glove of Royals OF
, who over-ran Kendrick's fly ball. Angels P
underwent an MRI on his left knee and the diagnosis of patella tendonitis will not yet require a trip to the DL. Angels P
(strained right forearm) will take the mound Sunday for Triple-A Salt Lake in what is expected to be his last rehab start.
The Angels are back over .500 (15-14) for the first time since winning on Opening Day.