Royals rip Pineiro for 4 in 5th to beat Angels

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- From his vantage point, Royals manager Ned Yost couldn't tell if Hideki Matsui's ball had cleared the wall or bounced off the railing. He and the umpires needed a replay to figure it out.

There was no doubt what Robinson Tejeda did. Yost may actually want to watch that one again, too.

Nearly unhittable for over a month, Tejeda got the two biggest outs of the game, escaping a second-and-third jam in the sixth inning to life the Kansas City Royals to a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday night.

"That was a big situation ... and he snuffed it right there," Yost said.

Kansas City's offense did its part, waking from a slumber after scoring two runs in three games. David DeJesus hit a two-run triple, Jose Guillen homered and the Royals scored four runs off Joel Pineiro (3-6) in the fifth inning.

Brian Bannister (5-3) did his part, pitching into the sixth inning for his fourth straight win despite struggling with location.

But the heavy lifting was done by the bullpen, once the weak link in Kansas City.

Tejeda got it started, stopping the Angels with two on and one out in the sixth inning, then rolling over the Angels in an overpowering seventh. Blake Wood was just as dominating in the eighth and Joakim Soria made it look easy in the ninth, getting two strikeouts for his 13th save in 15 chances.

"I was an afterthought," Bannister said after giving up three runs on seven hits to win four straight starts for the first time since late 2007.

The game started with both starters struggling.

Pineiro gave up two hits and a run on Billy Butler's groundout in the first inning. Bannister quickly lost the lead the next inning, giving up runs on Mike Napoli's groundout and Howie Kendrick's run-scoring single.

Then both settled down for a little while, getting lots of defensive help, groundouts and double plays.

Bannister got a nice play in the hole by second baseman Chris Getz in the third inning, covering the bag himself to beat Macier Izturis by a step. Getz also had a tag-out, throw-out double play in the fifth.

Pineiro benefited from a bang-bang double play in the fourth, when Kendrick snared Mitch Maier's liner and whipped over to first to catch Alberto Callaspo leaning.

Pineiro's good fortune didn't continue.

The Royals scored four runs off the right-hander in the fifth inning, one on a single by Getz that tied the score, two more on DeJesus' triple that went over Torii Hunter's head after the center fielder initially broke in. Butler made it 5-2 with a sacrifice that scored DeJesus.

Pineiro stayed in to finish the game, but gave up Guillen's 12th homer in the eighth to lose his fourth straight road start.

"That's a little bit of what's been happening to me lately," Pineiro said after allowing six runs on 10 hits in eight innings. "You go out there and start off all right, then you have a bad inning and are able to comeback and settle down. I've got to go out and find a way to minimize the multi-run innings."

Bannister had a few problems of his own.

Izturis led off the sixth inning with his second homer, curling it just inside the foul pole in right. It was his second in days and extended Bannister's streak of allowing at least one homer to nine games.

Hunter followed with a one-out single, then Matsui lifted a ball that went over the wall in right, but was ruled in play after hitting a rail at the top. It was later upheld after a video replay by the umpires.

Turned out to be a big call.

Tejeda replaced Bannister and quickly ended the threat, getting Juan Rivera to fly to shallow center and striking out Napoli.

"We had our chance -- Juan missed his pitch," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You've got to give Tejeda some credit."

It's been that way for a while.

After allowing 12 earned runs his first 8 1/3 innings of the season, the right-hander has been a dominating bridge to Soria in the ninth, giving up one earned run his last 18 1/3 innings.

Once known strictly for his electric stuff, he's getting results to go with his strikeouts.

"He's been basically lights out since I've been here," Yost said.

Game notes
Angels C Jeff Mathis (wrist) took early batting practice and will catch a bullpen session Wednesday with the hopes of starting a rehab assignment next week. ... Royals LHP John Parrish (rotator cuff) pitched to three hitters in batting practice and could start his rehab assignment next week.