KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A misplay gave Omar Infante the chance to deliver another big hit against the Los Angeles Angels.
Infante came through again, singling home the winning run with one out in the ninth inning that lifted the Kansas City Royals over the Angels 5-4 Sunday.
Alex Gordon was hit by a pitch with one out in the Kansas City ninth. Salvador Perez followed with a grounder to shortstop Erick Aybar, but his throw glanced off second baseman Howie Kendrick’s glove and sent Gordon to third. Infante followed with his single.
Perez thought the inning was over when he hit his grounder.
“Double play. Yes, sir,” Perez said. “I don’t how know he missed it. It’s going to happen.”
Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was in the trainer’s room icing his arm when he saw Kendrick’s misplay on television.
“With disbelief and elation,” Guthrie said.
Kendrick could not believe it, either.
“I peeked too soon,” he said. “It was a good feed. It just came off my glove. It happens sometimes. I feel bad because the pitcher did his job. I’ve dropped balls before, but I don’t remember dropping one like that. I came out of it too soon.”
“I took my head out of the play. I had time,” he said. “Perez is not a fast baserunner. I had time and the throw was right there. I looked too soon and didn’t follow the ball into the glove. It opened the game up for them.”
Lorenzo Cain hit three doubles for the Royals, finishing with four hits and two RBIs.
Infante, whose grand slam Friday night helped beat the Angels, finished with three hits, including a double. His winning single came against Los Angeles newcomer Jason Grilli (0-3). Pittsburgh traded its former closer to the Angels on Friday.
“I know he throws a slider for the first pitch and I was waiting for that pitch,” Infante said. “Because I saw that the first pitch to Billy (Butler) was a slider, too. In that situation you have to look for a certain pitch, a fastball or a slider, and that’s why I made good contact on that pitch. It was a tough game today, a nice win for us.”
Greg Holland (1-2) struck out two in the ninth.
Kole Calhoun led off the game with a home run against Jeremy Guthrie. The Angels added another run in the first on Cain’s error in right field, and Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead into the fourth after a two-base throwing error by Eric Hosmer.
Albert Pujols opened the Angels sixth with a hit to left field and tried to stretch it into a double. He jogged into second with his left thigh bothering him and was thrown out by Alcides Escobar.
“It’s one of those glands that kind of grabbed something,” Pujols said. “It’s fine. They’re not too concerned about it. I don’t feel it when I’m hitting. The first time I felt it was when I was running. It’s been a couple of days. It grabbed me a little. I took some swings and I didn’t want to come out. If I get on base then they would pinch-run for me. It didn’t bother me to hit.”
Aybar homered later in the inning to make it 4-all.
After the Angels loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, Kelvin Herrera was summoned to face Pujols and retired him on a fly ball.
The Royals won challenges in the third and fifth inning and both resulted in double plays being converted.
Cain’s two-run double highlighted a four-run fourth off C.J. Wilson.
Wilson faced 22 batters and 12 reached base seven hits, four walks and a hit batter in 3 2/3 innings. Angels starting pitchers combined for only 11 2/3 innings in the three-game series to create a work overload for the bullpen.
“It’s very frustrating,” Wilson said. “You make a lot of close pitches and just miss. I’m not going to lay it in there and let guys tee off on you.”