KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Paul Byrd is going to go ahead and call
it a two-hitter.
"The first hit didn't count," he said.
He's right. It didn't.
Byrd wound up with a career-best two-hitter Friday night, facing
only one batter over the minimum and getting a boost from a Kansas
City blunder in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-0 victory over the
While improving to 48-31, their best start after 79 games, the
Angels capitalized on a bizarre and embarrassing mistake by the
Royals, who delivered the wrong lineup card to umpires.
So when David DeJesus singled leading off and Angel Berroa
approached the plate to bat second, Angels manager Mike Scioscia
alertly hopped out of the dugout and spoke to home plate umpire
The umpires called time and huddled a few minutes, then Berroa
was called out and DeJesus was required to bat again. He flied out,
and the Royals did not have another hit until Matt Stairs singled
leading off the fifth -- only to be erased on an inning-ending
"Once that happened and I got a few double plays I thought,
'Yeah, this one's going my way," Byrd said with a grin.
Royals manager Buddy Bell took full blame.
"Checking the lineup card doesn't take much energy to do," he
said. "The bottom line is, I didn't double-check the official
lineup card with the card on the [dugout] wall. It's totally,
totally my responsibility. It was inexcusable and irresponsible."
A double play also erased the runner in the third when Byrd
issued his only walk. The only other baserunner was Byrd's old
friend, Mike Sweeney, who doubled down the right-field line in the
"Paul Byrd was one of my favorite teammates," Sweeney said.
"He pitched for us hurt. Tonight, he wasn't throwing 95 mph, but
he had a lot of heart and he was a warrior."
Byrd struck out five in what he called his finest game ever. His
parents, wife and children were all watching from the stands, as
were a handful of students who had formed the "Byrd's Nest" in
left field when Byrd won 17 games in 2002 for a Royals team that
"They were undercover since I'm pitching for another team
now," Byrd said. "They weren't wearing their beaks and wings."
Byrd benefited from some nice catches by Chone Figgins in center
"I gave up two hits, but let's not forget the Royals hit the
ball hard," he said. "It just went to somebody when they hit it
hard. Chone Figgins made some great plays."
It was Byrd's first shutout since 2002, when he beat the Angels
for Kansas City. The Angels had not had a complete-game two-hitter
since Ramon Ortiz against Boston on Aug. 3, 2000.
Runelvys Hernandez (5-9), who had won three in a row before
losing to Colorado in his previous start, went 6 1-3 innings and
was charged with five runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck
Vladimir Guerrero, who led the majors in June with a .443
average, singled home two runs in the seventh for a 5-0 lead for
the Angels, who were coming off an 18-5 loss in which Texas hit
eight home runs.
With two outs in the sixth, Garret Anderson doubled and scored
when Juan Rivera followed with a two-base hit just inches above the
outstretched glove of third baseman Mark Teahen. Macier Izturis
then made it three straight doubles for a 3-0 lead.
DeJesus said he got to first base after singling in the first
and "had no clue" what was going on when umpires called him back.
"That's never happened to me," he said. "You know, we had the
momentum going. But these things happen."
Molina had three singles.
The Angels' three announced starters for this series --
Byrd, Bartolo Colon and Jarrod Washburn -- are a combined 22-12. The
Royals' trio of Hernandez, Jose Lima and Zack Greinke is 7-24. ...
The Royals were starting a 10-game homestand after a 1-8 road trip.
... Byrd's 17 wins for the Royals in 2002 were the most in 51 years
by a pitcher with a team that lost 100 games. ... The Angels put
Robb Quinlan on the 15-day disabled list Friday after tests
indicated a mild disc bulge in his neck and inflammation in his
left shoulder. They brought up RHP Kevin Gregg from Triple-A Salt
Lake. ... Emil Brown's career-best hitting streak was stopped at 16