Guerrero lifts Angels past Royals' bullpen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Los Angeles had three hits and one big gift from Kansas City's bullpen.

With the Texas Rangers closing fast in the AL West, the Angels will take any win they can get.

Jered Weaver allowed one run over seven innings and Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single in the eighth inning off Kansas City's beleaguered bullpen, lifting the Angels to a 2-1 victory over the Royals.

The linescore may not have looked right -- the Royals had 11 hits, the Angels three -- but the result sure did.

"That's the funny thing about baseball: You're going to win some games when you give up a bunch of hits and we don't get very many, but it's all a matter of the Ws and losses," said Weaver, who allowed nine hits to set a new career high in wins. "We were able to pull it out and it was a good win."

Weaver (14-5) did his part, allowing three hits to Mike Jacobs, Alberto Callaspo's run-scoring triple in the fourth and not much else to keep pace with Tejeda.

Kansas City's right-hander allowed a hit in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, then had to watch another bullpen meltdown.

The Royals walked eight in innings 6-8 -- three by Jamey Wright (1-5) -- and twice dodged jams before Guerrero came through with the run-scoring single in the eighth. Brian Fuentes made sure the gift held up, working the ninth for his 38th save in 43 chances to keep the Angels 3½ games ahead of the Rangers.

"There weren't too many balls that we hit hard," manager Mike Scioscia said after the Angels improved to 7-0 against the Royals this season. "One thing did, though, if you look at some of the little things we were starting to work counts and take what they were giving us."

Tejeda didn't give them much after replacing Gil Meche, who was scratched because of shoulder fatigue.

Though he's been a starter before -- 47 combined with Philadelphia, Texas and Kansas City -- Tejeda didn't look the part, pitching exclusively from the stretch. He had no problem adjusting to pitching early instead of late, retiring 15 straight after a one-out single in the first inning, striking out the side in the second.

Tejeda finally wore out after 83 pitches, leaving after walking two with one out in the sixth inning. He allowed one hit and struck out six.

"It was a tremendous outing," said Royals manager Trey Hillman, back after missing four days due to death in the family. "He kept us out of the bullpen for a long time. [The] only two walks the those were last two batters he faced. You've got to love what you saw today."

One big problem: Hillman had to hand the ball to the relievers.

Kansas City's bullpen has been a disaster-in-waiting all season, with baseball's highest ERA (5.19) and worst percentage of inherited runners scored (45). And it was missing one of its most productive members: Tejeda.

No need to guess what happened next, right?

Yes, it happened again. It just took a little longer than usual.

Kyle Farnsworth survived a bases-loaded at-bat by Guerrero in the sixth, making the crowd gulp by throwing off his back foot on the inning-ending comebacker. He didn't come back out after tweaking his back on the offbalance throw.

Wright worked out of a jam in the seventh with a strike out, throw out -- Mike Napoli swinging, Kendry Morales caught stealing third -- then created another by walking two the next inning.

In came John Bale. After one pitch, he was gone. The right-hander caught his cleat in the dirt and had to be helped off the field, limping with a strained right hamstring.

With All-Star closer Joakim Soria unavailable, Hillman had to turn to Roman Colon, the last man in the bullpen. He promptly walked Bobby Abreu, giving Guerrero a second bases-loaded chance.

Two chances to one of baseball's best hitters? Not a good idea.

The crowd buzzing with an impending sense of doom, Guerrero pulled Colon's third pitch just inside third base, a two-run single that ignited a chorus of boos inside Kauffman Stadium.

"Even if you throw a perfect pitch, you never know with that guy," Colon said. "The guy can hit balls that bounce out of the dirt."

Game notes
Broadcaster Buddy Blattner, who died at 89 on Friday, was the original play-by-play voice of the Royals. ... Kansas City leads the majors with 45 triples. ... Abreu has four hits in his past 33 at-bats after going 0-for-2.