Well, this was different. No better but different.
The Royals goosed their run-starved attack for an early lead Tuesday night before Brian Bannister gave it all back and more in a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Kauffman Stadium.
It came down to this: Bannister couldn’t retire Garret Anderson in RBI situations. Anderson hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning and delivered two-out RBI singles in the fifth and seventh.
That was sufficient to saddle Bannister, 3-4, with a fourth straight loss and drop the Royals to 14-18. The Angels, 22-13, have won four in a row and will go for a three-game sweep in tonight’s series finale.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
It all started so well, too.
The Royals spanked Angels rookie Nick Adenhart for two runs in the second inning and another run in the third.
Then Anderson got going.
Reliever Darren Oliver, 2-1 got the victory after retiring five straight hitters once he replaced Adenhart with runners at first and second with one out in the fifth. Justin Speier, Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez closed out the victory.
Rodriguez worked the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances. The four LA relievers yielded no runs and two hits over the final 4 2/3 innings.
The Angels finished with 15 hits, including at least two from six different players.
Still, the Royals had a real shot after loading the bases with one out in the seventh against Speier. But Mark Teahen struck out on a check swing, and Miguel Olivo fouled out to the catcher.
Bannister gave up five runs and 13 hits in 6 2/3 innings. His ERA has jumped from 0.86 to 4.46 over his last four starts.
Adenhart lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his second career start. He gave up three early runs but carried a 4-3 lead into the fifth. Successive two-out walks, however, prompted manager Mike Scioscia to call on Oliver.
That denied Adenhart a chance for his first victory, but Oliver quelled the threat by striking out Teahen and Olivo.
The Royals, after being shut out Monday, jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second inning _ with all damage coming with two outs. Teahen walked and scored on Olivo’s line-drive double past center fielder Torii Hunter.
Ross Gload followed with an RBI double past first. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third, but Joey Gathright ended the inning with a foul pop to third.
Bannister pitched around a problem in the third after his high throw to second forced the Royals to settle for one out on what should have been an inning-ending double play. Erick Aybar followed with a single, which brought Guerrero to the plate.
Guerrero popped to second.
The Royals extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when left fielder Gary Matthews Jr. misplayed Alex Gordon’s two-out drive into an RBI double. Billy Butler scored from second.
So far, so good?
That three-run lead lasted three batters into the fourth.
Casey Kotchman led off with a single and went to third on Hunter’s line-hugging double into the left-field corner. Anderson then lined a first-pitch offering over the right-field wall for a three-run homer.
Anderson put the Angels on top with a two-out RBI single in the fifth. Guerrero worked a one-out walk and went to second on Kotchman’s single. Hunter flied to right, but Anderson pulled a grounder through the right side for a 4-3 lead.
Manager Trey Hillman allowed Bannister to face Anderson again in the seventh in another two-out RBI situation. Again, Anderson delivered, flicking a single into center for a 5-3 lead.
Guerrero had led off with a double before going to third on an infield grounder. Hunter popped out, but Anderson, with lefty Ron Mahay warming in the bullpen, collected his fifth RBI.