Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 4

Kansas City leads 2-1 (as of 7/22)

Game 1: Thursday, July 20
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Kansas City9
Game 2: Friday, July 21
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Kansas City8
Game 3: Saturday, July 22
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in 10
Kansas City3
Game 4: Sunday, July 23
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Kansas City1

Angels 4

(49-48, 25-24 away)

Royals 3

(34-63, 21-24 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 22, 2006

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

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    LAA 2000001001 4 6 0
    KC 3000000000 3 10 1

    W: S. Shields (6-6)

    L: T. Wellemeyer (0-3)

    S: F. Rodriguez (24)

    Willits' single in 10th helps Angels nip Royals, snap skid

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Reggie Willits won't soon forget his first full major league game.

    Unaware he was going to start in center field, the rookie had no time to work up a nervous sweat. So he singled and scored in his first major league at-bat. And then in his fifth trip to the plate, he drove across the winning run in the 10th inning in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

    Could anyone have scripted a better night?

    "I don't think you could," Willits, 25, said. "I had a lot of fun. I just appreciate every opportunity I get to go out there and play."

    Todd Wellemeyer (0-1) started the 10th by walking the Angels' most dangerous baserunner. Chone Figgins then stole second and sped to third when catcher Paul Phillips' throw to second bounced into center field.

    Willits, who singled leading off the game in his first major league at-bat, then hit a clean single and Francisco Rodriguez worked around two walks in the bottom of the 10th to preserve the win.

    "When you're put in a situation where you've never been before, you're always going to have a few nerves," Willits said. "But I was fortunate to get something to fall in early and help me relax."

    Scot Shields (6-6) pitched two innings for the win as the Angels stopped a three-game losing skid that had followed a season-best eight-game win streak.

    In the bottom of the eighth, Royals manager Buddy Bell and third baseman Tony Graffanino were both ejected by home plate umpire Joe West.

    Graffanino was tossed after making a comment when he struck out. Bell was then tossed when he came out to complain.

    Bell refused to discuss the incident.

    "Nothing at all," he said. "I can't really say anything. I just didn't think it was warranted. Everybody knows Graf. He doesn't say enough to get thrown out."

    Walking Figgins, the Angels' fastest baserunner, was asking for trouble, Bell agreed.

    "You can't walk the leadoff hitter, especially Figgins. You walk a guy like that in that situation, you're going to pay for it," he said. "And we did. Then the stolen base and allowing the ball to go into center, you can't let that happen either. It just wasn't a very good inning."

    The Angels tied it at three in the seventh when Kendry Morales scored from third on a wild pitch from Ambiorix Burgos, who had just relieved Luke Hudson.

    David DeJesus had three hits for Kansas City. He singled in the first and alertly took second when Mark Grudzielanek flied out to deep center. A double by Doug Mientkiewicz scored DeJesus.

    Mientkiewicz went to third when Matt Stairs singled, then Graffanino doubled into left.

    Mientkiewicz scored but Stairs was easily thrown out at home.

    Graffanino went to third on the throw and then made it 3-2 on an RBI single by Shane Costa, who had just been called up from Triple-A Omaha.

    Willits' single in the first was followed by a triple by Maicer Izturis. With one out, Vladimir Guerrero made it 2-0 with an infield out that allowed Izturis to score.

    Angels starter Kelvim Escobar, activated earlier in the day from the 15-day disabled list, went seven innings and gave up three runs on nine hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.

    Hudson, looking for his second victory as a starter in almost a year, went 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.

    Game notes


    The Royals recalled Costa from Triple-A Omaha and optioned RHP Joel Peralta to Omaha. Since going to Omaha on May 16, Costa hit .381 with 24 runs, six doubles, three triples and eight home runs. Peralta was 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA. ... 1B Mientkiewicz made an outstanding play in the fifth inning when he dived onto the ground to stop Adam Kennedy's hard smash and then tossed to Hudson covering the bag. ... It was Bell's fourth ejection this year and Graffanino's first.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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