KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Joel Pineiro's worst throw of the night was not to the plate, but to second base.
Pineiro's errant throw on Alcides Escobar's comebacker in the third opened the door for a five-run inning as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 Tuesday.
After Chris Getz's bunt single with one out, Pineiro fielded Escobar's grounder, but his throw to second to start a probable double play wound up in center field and Getz wound up on third.
After Pineiro's error, Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera contributed RBI singles, while Eric Hosmer's double to left scored both. Billy Butler's two-out single scored Hosmer.
``That was the big difference in the game,' Pineiro said of his error. ``The ball just stuck to my hand and I threw a sinker. I was too quick. I rushed it and my arm came over and I threw it away. It would have ended the inning. I've been around long enough to make sure of one out.'
Pineiro's error could have affected the way he pitched the remainder of the inning.
``You think about it,' he said. ``But I was dedicated to every pitch I threw. It was in my head for a second. It would have ended the inning right there.'
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said ``we shot ourselves in the foot on defense.'
``That (throwing error) influenced the game as much as anything,' Scioscia said. ``That inning totally changes without the error. He's a good fielder and he's really good on that throw. He just misfired. It's a 1-6-3 double play and we're out of the inning.'
Royals left-hander Jeff Francis survived a shaky first to pick up the victory. Alex Gordon and Getz both had three hits for the Royals, who won for only the fourth time in 17 games. Jeff Francoeur drove in two runs and leads the Royals with 32 RBIs.
Francis (2-5) threw 35 pitches in the first inning and allowed two runs and four hits before settling down and making it through seven innings, while throwing a season-high 114 pitches.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead with Erick Aybar opening the game with a double to right that Francoeur could not find in the sun. Aybar stopped at third on Maicer Izturis' single. After one out, Alberto Callaspo and Mark Trumbo had run-producing singles.
The Royals added runs in the fifth and seventh innings with Francoeur driving in both. Francoeur's two-out single in the fifth scored Hosmer, who had singled and stole second. In the seventh, Francoeur's sacrifice fly scored Gordon.
Jeff Mathis' double in the sixth scored Peter Bourjos, who had a bunt single and stole second, for the other Angels run.
Francis, who is 2-0 in his past three starts after going winless in his first eight, allowed three runs, eight hits and two walks.
Piniero allowed six runs, four earned, and nine hits, striking out one and walking none.
Blake Wood followed Francis with two scoreless innings, striking out three.
Notes: Angels OF Vernon Wells, who went on the DL May 10 with a strained right groin, could be close to going on a minor league rehab assignment. ``His workout today was exceptional,' Scioscia said. ``He's running at 100 percent. It was a beautiful thing to see.' ... RHP Felipe Paulino, who was acquired last week from Colorado, will make his first start for the Royals on Wednesday. He will become the eighth starter used by the Royals this season. ... C Bobby Wilson was the Angels DH for the first time this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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