Only the Rarest of the Rare for Angels-Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Digging deep into the record book, one learns that Chuck McElroy is the eighth pitcher in baseball history to get a victory in three straight games.
The record book does not go deep enough for a fix on Tim Wallach’s feat.
Locked in a 4-for-31 slump, Wallach homered off Jeff Montgomery to tie the game 3-3 in the eighth. Then he homered off Montgomery again in the 10th to nudge the California Angels to a 4-3 victory over Kansas City Wednesday and an eventful three-game sweep.
Suffice to say, both exploits were a first for both men.
``I’ve never seen it before,″ said manager Marcel Lachemann, whose Angels ended a road trip 4-5 after starting 0-5.
``I’ve never done it before, that’s for sure,″ said McElroy (3-0), who was acquired from Cincinnati in the Lee Smith trade on May 27. ``I guess that’s what you have bullpens for. It feels good.″
McElroy pitched a total of three innings for the three wins, the Angels’ first sweep in Kansas City since 1991. He went two-thirds of an inning on Monday, 1 2-3 innings on Tuesday and two-thirds on Wednesday.
In contrast was Shawn Boskie, who labored for 8 1-3 innings Wednesday and had nothing but a tired arm to show for it.
The last man to get three straight wins on three straight days was Pittsburgh’s Kent Tekulve in 1980.
Troy Percival got the save in all three to run his total to 16.
``Pretty amazing to have the same two relievers get a win and a save for three days in a row,″ Percival said. ``And they weren’t cheap wins. Chuck had to out there and make quality pitches to some awfully good hitters.″
``You think McElroy wants to stay here?″ deadpanned Kansas City manager Bob Boone, whose team has lost four in a row.
The Angels were held scoreless from the second through the seventh by reliever Hipolito Pichardo and starter Jose Rosado, who made his major league debut. They trailed 3-2 when Montgomery (1-4) started the eighth.
Wallach had never faced him before.
``I asked somebody what he throws and they said he throws a mixture of stuff and is liable to throw anything at any time,″ Wallach said. ``So I looked for a fastball.″
Montgomery’s first pitch, a fastball, went sailing over the fence for Wallach’s fifth home run.
When he came to the plate in the 10th, Wallach figured Montgomery would throw breaking pitches.
Right again. The first one was a ball inside. The second went flying over the fence for home run No. 6.
Three pitches, two home runs, one crestfallen reliever.
Montgomery, very uncharacteristically, declined to speak with reporters.
`I know Montgomery’s been one of the league’s top closers for a long time,″ Wallach said. ``I was surprised because I haven’t been swinging the bat well.″
``I thought he pitched well, except for the two pitches to Wallach,″ Boone said. ``He will be back out there again in the same situation.″
Rosado went six strong innings in his major league debut, and Craig Paquette’s three-run homer gave the Royals a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Rosado gave up four hits and two runs with five strikeouts and four walks. A 12th-round choice in the 1994 draft, the 21-year-old left-hander was 6-2 at Triple-A Omaha before the Royals brought him up.
``I’m not disappointed,″ he said. ``I did pretty good for my first game in the major leagues.″
Notes: California outfielder Jim Edmonds had his right thumb in a temporary cast after injuring it during Tuesday night’s game. The Angels said he would be listed day-to-day. ... As if things weren’t going bad enough for the Royals, their computers broke down and postgame stats were not available. After Rosado got his first major league strikeout, he tossed the ball toward the dugout as a keepsake. But the ball bounced into the stands and a fan had to be coaxed with another ball to give it up. ... Chili Davis struck out three times and was 0-for-5 after going 6-for-9 with four runs, two homers and three RBIs the two previous games.