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
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
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
"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
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
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."
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
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.
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