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Abbott Gets Slammed, Angels Get Beat, 8-4 : Baseball: Spehr connects with bases loaded in the second inning and Royals coast to victory.

From Associated Press

Tim Spehr hit his first grand slam and Kevin Appier matched his career high with 10 strikeouts as the Kansas City Royals beat the Angels, 8-4, Sunday.

Spehr connected in the second inning off Jim Abbott (17-11). Todd Benzinger and Mike Macfarlane, who had three hits, each singled and Sean Berry walked with one out before Spehr homered to left.

“Any time you hit a home run you feel good,” said Spehr, whose homer went an estimated 430 feet. “Hitting one with the bases loaded just feels that much better. It kind of makes the rest of your day easier.

“That’s about the farthest I’ve ever hit a ball. I knew I hit it well, but a guy hitting .190 can’t very well stop and watch it. I got out of the box pretty good.”

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Spehr’s grand slam was the seventh by the Royals this year, a team record.

The Angels put a runner on third with none out in each of the first two innings, but did not score either time.

“We set the tempo early,” Angel Manager Buck Rogers said. “We could have blown them out of the box early. We score those runs, then we’re in charge. We let the opportunity get away.

“You should score 60 to 65% of the time with a runner on third and one or no outs. I’ve been on teams that score 70 to 75% of the time. You can’t be under 50.”

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Appier (13-9) set a career high for victories and won for the ninth time in 11 decisions. He left after a two-run single by Junior Felix with one out in the eighth inning. Dave Winfield greeted reliever Steve Crawford with his 26th homer, a two-run shot.

Winfield’s homer was the Angels’ second in the last 17 games.

Both teams made three errors, but only Kansas City capitalized. Brian McRae doubled leading off the Royals’ fifth and took third when Benzinger reached base on an error by shortstop Dick Schofield. Macfarlane doubled home McRae.

Stillwell hit a grounder down the third base line that Gary Gaetti fielded, but threw into the Royals’ dugout, allowing Benzinger and Macfarlane to score.

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Stillwell hit a run-scoring single in the seventh for the final run.

Abbott, who won eight of his previous 10 decisions, has never won in Royals Stadium and is 1-6 against Kansas City.


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