KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -There were no late-game heroics, no wild celebrations. Just a methodical performance by Ervin Santana, rare production from the bottom of the lineup and another win over Kansas City.
After a winning-but-tumulutuous weekend, this was just what the Los Angeles Angels needed.
Santana pitched seven strong innings, the bottom three hitters combined for six hits and the Angels avoided any drama by roughing up Luke Hochevar early on the way to a 7-1 win over the Royals on Monday.
``Right now we're just trying to focus,' said Santana, 21-1 since 2008 when lasting seven innings. ``We know that everything will be OK, so we're just trying to get everybody together.'
Los Angeles won its previous two games in dramatic fashion, getting a winning grand slam from Kendry Morales against Seattle on Saturday, a three-run game-ender by Kendrick on Sunday.
The Angels were a bit more subdued following Kendrick's winner, waiting on the grass to congratulate him after watching Morales, the team's home run and RBI leader, break his leg during the previous day's at-the-plate swarming.
Handshakes and high-fives were all the Angels needed against Kansas City, a team they've beaten 10 of the last 11 times.
Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer, Juan Rivera and Maicer Izturis each had solo shots off Hochevar (5-3), and Howie Kendrick had two RBIs to help Los Angeles kick off a season-long 14-game road trip with its fifth win in six games. Napoli, Kendrick and Michael Ryan, the Nos. 7-9 hitters, went a combined 6 for 10.
``I'm not asking them to be Superman, just get into their normal game,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``There's been a lot of guys who haven't been maybe as crisp as they can be and we got contributions from a lot of them.'
The Royals didn't put up much of a fight, going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and striking out 11 times to lose for the sixth time in nine games. Kansas City has scored two runs in three games after a season-high 20-hit outburst against Boston Friday night.
Santana (5-3) had something to do with it.
The right-hander had a shaky start to the season, but has been superb over the past month or so, allowing six earned runs with 28 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Santana limited the damage of seven hits against the Royals, allowing a run-scoring double by Jason Kendall in the fifth inning and little else to win his fourth straight start. He struck out six.
``His slider, I don't know if you'd call it devastating, but it was just short of devastating,' Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Hochevar had also been on a roll, pitching eight strong innings against Texas to back up a complete-game win over Cleveland.
This time, he just put the Royals in a hole.
Rivera ended an 0-for-21 slump in the second inning off the right-hander, lifting a 2-0, down-the-middle fastball over the Angels bullpen in left for a solo homer, his seventh. Kendrick made it 2-0 with a run-scoring double two batters later and the Angels kept chipping away at Hochevar.
Izturis added a slicing solo shot in the third inning that dinged off the foul pole in left, Erick Aybar had a run-scoring double in the fifth and Kendrick added an RBI single in the sixth to make it 5-1.
Hochevar gave up five runs on nine hits in seven innings. He had allowed two homers in his previous 60 innings.
``What's on my mind is making quality pitches, down in the zone,' Hochevar said. ``When you get the ball up, that's what happens.'
Napoli sealed it in the eighth inning with his eighth homer, a two-run shot off Victor Marte for his third hit.
NOTES: Scioscia said Morales' broken leg is still too swollen for surgery and he hopes to have a definitive answer in the next week or so. ... Royals DH Jose Guillen broke an 0-for-15 skid with a single off Scot Shields in the ninth inning. He had struck out his previous eight at_bats at Kauffman Stadium. ... A grounds crew member made a nifty tackle from behind after a fan ran out onto the field during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Associated Press News Service
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