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Angels Seek To Avoid Sweep Against Royals

(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals will try to complete the three-game sweep over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when the two teams meet this evening in the finale at Angels Stadium in Anaheim.

The season series is now split after six games, but over the last 20 meetings, the Angels have captured 15 victories.

That wasn't the case last night, though, as Bruce Chen carried a perfect game into the seventh and Jose Guillen laced a two-run single an inning later to break a scoreless tie, and Kansas City went on to beat the Angels, 4-2.

Chen (5-2) dominated early on and worked a two-hit outing through 7 1/3 innings, walking one. His lone blemish was a Jeff Mathis solo home run in the eighth, after which he was pulled. Erick Aybar led off the seventh with a base hit into left field to spoil any notion of perfection.

"I kept the ball down and had command of all my pitches. The defense made some great plays. Everyone wants to throw a no-hitter but I know it's hard. I really feel good and I'm putting everything together," Chen said.

The surging Royals have won seven of their last nine.

Joakim Soria recorded his 22nd save after surviving a rocky ninth, getting Hideki Matsui to swing through a fastball for the final out with two in scoring position.

Ervin Santana (8-6) went 8 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts for Los Angeles, which has dropped three of four overall.

Santana was able to work out of trouble by stranding runners in scoring position in the first and sixth innings to match Chen on the scoreboard through six innings.

Anthony Lerew will make his fourth start for the Royals since being called up from Omaha. The last time Lerew was on the hill he posted his first victory of the season.

In the 3-1 victory over Chicago the right-hander surrendered just one run on three hits in six innings of work. Lerew, who lost his only road start on the year, will be making his first-ever appearance against the Angels.

The Angels will turn to Joel Pineiro, who will be looking for his sixth consecutive victory. After stumbling through the first two months of the season, Pineiro has caught fire and because of his recent run the crafty veteran has eight wins on the year.

The last time the right-hander was on the mound he led Anaheim past Texas. In the win, Pineiro surrendered just three runs against the Rangers and struck out four batters in six innings.

It was the fifth win at home for Pineiro, who lowered his ERA at Angels Stadium to an impressive 2.47 on the season.

Earlier this season the seasoned hurler was tattooed by Kansas City, as the Royals scored six runs on 10 hits in eight innings. The setback dropped Pineiro to an even 4-4 in his career against KC, and also pushed his ERA against the Royals to a mediocre 4.23.

The Royals last swept the Angels in Anaheim back in June of 2007.