Hunter hits 3-run HR after getting All-Star nod, helps Angels avoid sweep with 11-0 win

Sunday, July 4, 2010

All-Star Hunter gets 2 HRs, 7 RBIs in Angels’ win

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Torii Hunter celebrated his fourth career All-Star selection with two homers and tied a career high with seven RBIs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to an 11-0 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Joel Pineiro won his sixth straight start with seven solid innings, and Paul McAnulty added a two-run homer in his Angels debut to help Los Angeles avoid a sweep. This series marks the 78th in a row at home in which the Angels have not been swept, the longest stretch by any team since the Atlanta Braves’ streak of 84 ended with a four-game sweep by Arizona June 1-4, 2006.

Pineiro (9-6) scattered six hits and four walks, struck out three and stranded eight baserunners — five in scoring position. The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA over his last six outings. The only other time he won six consecutive starts was in 2003, when he had a career-high 16 victories for Seattle.

Anthony Lerew (1-2) was charged with six runs and six hits over six-plus innings in his fourth start this season and ninth in the big leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander, who is still classified as a rookie, was promoted from Triple-A Omaha on June 16 when righty Luke Hochevar went on the disabled list with a sprained elbow.

Erick Aybar, who broke up Bruce Chen’s bid for a perfect game with a leadoff single in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s 4-2 loss to the Royals, singled in the third against Lerew after a single by Jeff Mathis. A walk to Howie Kendrick loaded the bases for Bobby Abreu, who hit a sacrifice fly that center fielder David DeJesus gloved at the top of the fence without jumping.

Hunter followed with a drive over the fence in left-center to give the Angels a 4-0 lead. He went deep again in the seventh against Victor Marte for his 14th homer after a walk to Abreu.

It was Hunter’s 13th multihomer game and first since June 13, 2009, when he hit three against San Diego in a 9-1 win at Angel Stadium. He came up with the bases loaded in the eighth and stroked a two-run single to right against Dusty Hughes, matching the seven RBIs he had May 13, 2007, for Minnesota against Detroit.

McAnulty, who had his contract purchased Sunday from Triple-A Salt Lake, hit a two-run shot off reliever Kaneoka Texeira in the sixth after striking out his first two times up. He became the 26th player in Angels history to homer in his first game with the club, and was making his first start in the majors June 22, 2008, with San Diego. The Halos signed him as a free agent in February.

One day after Butler was hit twice by pitches from Ervin Santana, Lerew plunked Abreu on the right hand in the first inning — the first time Abreu was hit since Aug. 31, 2009, and only the third time in the last three seasons. Plate umpire Jim Joyce emphatically warned both dugouts about the penalty for retaliating, and there were no further incidents.

NOTES: Hunter is the only player representing the Angels at the All-Star game, which will be at Anaheim on July 12. He did not play in last year’s game because of a strained right groin. In his first All-Star game, 2002 at Milwaukee, Hunter robbed Barry Bonds of a home run. … When the Halos hosted the All-Star game in 1967, they were represented by RHP Jim McGlothin, 1B-OF Don Mincher and SS Jim Fregosi. When they hosted it in 1989, LHP Chuck Finley and CF Devon White made the squad. … Only two players have been named All-Star MVP when their team has hosted the event — Cleveland’s Sandy Alomar Jr. (1997) and Boston’s Pedro Martinez (1999). Three Angels players have been named MVP of an All-Star game — Leon Wagner (1962), Fred Lynn (1983) and Garret Anderson (2003). … Royals closer Joakim Soria was selected for his second All-Star team. His first was in 2008 at Yankee Stadium. “It’s really important for me and my career, for my family in Mexico and for my team,” Soria said. “The best guys are supposed to be in the All-Star game, but I don’t look at it like that. I don’t think I’m one of the best. I’m the same guy I’ve always been. Getting to hang out with all those amazing players is one of the best memories I have from Yankee Stadium, and this one I’m going to enjoy, too.”

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