KANSAS CITY— C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun each ripped two-run doubles in a four-run explosion in the ninth off Royals closer Greg Holland as the Angels rallied for a stunning 7-6 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Holland blew his fourth save in 29 opportunities. After 111 straight wins when leading after seven innings, the Royals now have lost back-to-back games when leading after seven.
“I had no idea it was 111 games,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, “but I guarantee that in every one of those games, you don’t take anything for granted because nights like this can happen.”
The Angels had trailed, 5-1, entering the eighth, but they picked up two runs off All-Star setup man Wade Davis before all six batters reached against Holland in the ninth.
David DeJesus singled and Carlos Perez walked, then advanced on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Cron followed with a game-tying, two-run double down the right-field line and Calhoun added the go-ahead two-run double to right two batters later.
Eric Hosmer made things interesting with a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth, but Angels closer Huston Street retired Alex Rios on a flyout to end the game with runners on first and second.
“Frustration level is always something you’re monitoring, and we’ve had to flush out some frustration as it comes and goes when you’re not performing,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team had lost nine straight on the road. “Hopefully a win like this will give us the confidence to play a good game tomorrow and build momentum.”
Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who had given up 40 hits in his last four outings, stifled the Angels on two hits through six innings. Guthrie, who perhaps has been on the verge of losing his fifth spot in the rotation, likely kept his position for one more turn with the strong outing. He gave up one run, walked three and struck out two.
“I thought I had good command of my fastball consistently,” Guthrie said. “And my curveball.”