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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, May 25th (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (24-24) at LA Angels of Anaheim (27-21), 3:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jason Vargas (4-2, 3.76) LA Angels - Garrett Richards (4-1, 2.90)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The rubber match of a three-game series is on tap for Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play host to the Kansas City Royals.

Jason Vargas gets the call for the Royals as they attempt to capture the series victory. He has been effective during his first season with the club, compiling a 4-2 record with a 3.76 ERA.

Vargas endured his shortest outing of the season during his latest start, however, lasting just 4 2/3 innings while being roughed up for eight hits and seven earned runs in a loss to the White Sox on May 19.

Vargas, who pitched for the Angels last season, is 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 85 career innings versus his former team.

The Angels will counter with Garrett Richards, who's in the midst of a career year with a 4-1 mark, a 2.90 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 59 innings.

Richards allowed five earned runs over his first three innings of work against the Astros on May 19, and while he settled down to complete seven innings for the third straight start, he was still saddled with his first loss of the season in a 5-2 setback.

The 25-year-old flamethrower has not fared well in three starts at Angel Stadium this season, posting a 5.85 ERA while allowing 27 hits in 20 innings.

The teams needed extra innings to decide Saturday's contest, but the Royals evened the series by scoring three runs in the 13th inning to capture a 7-4 triumph.

Kansas City snapped the Angels' three-game winning streak, scoring the go- ahead run on a throwing error by pitcher Mike Morin.

"I got to it quick and Howie (Kendrick) was still getting to first base," Morin said. "I had more time than I thought I did, and I was trying to guide the ball to meet him at the bag, but it sailed on me."

Eric Hosmer finished 4-for-7 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Lorenzo Cain collected three hits, Billy Butler knocked in a pair of RBI and Alcides Escobar had two runs scored and two stolen bases.

After James Shields struggled through six innings -- allowing nine hits, two walks and four earned runs -- five relievers combined to throw seven scoreless innings. Aaron Crow (2-1) earned the victory and Greg Holland registered his 14th save.

Morin's (0-1) error proved to be costly as he was saddled with the loss. Matt Shoemaker was solid in the start, yielding two earned runs across five innings with six strikeouts.

Mike Trout homered for the second straight game, giving him 10 on the season. Erick Aybar also left the yard for the third time this year and David Freese finished 3-for-6.

Albert Pujols collected two hits and now has 2,400 for his career.

05/25 10:21:07 ET

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