Guthrie perseveres to set up Royals' bullpen

Guthrie perseveres to set up Royals' bullpen

ANAHEIM -- The most impressive part of Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie's Saturday night came after he gave up three runs in the fifth inning that allowed the Angels to creep within two runs.

That's when skipper Ned Yost started to contemplate if he needed to go into his bullpen early, which is a rarity.

But Yost stuck with Guthrie, who retired the Angels in order in the sixth and seventh, allowing the manager to go straight to his dynamic duo of Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who then nailed down a 6-4 triumph at Angel Stadium.

"I thought he threw really well," Yost said of Guthrie. "He had that hiccup in the fifth inning, but he kept it contained and then gave us a solid sixth and seventh."

Catcher Salvador Perez agreed that Guthrie did a phenomenal job of persevering.

"He just got some pitches up [in the fifth]," Perez said. "But he came back and gave us two big zeroes after that. That was huge."

After giving up a leadoff homer in the first to Kole Calhoun, Guthrie was given a 6-1 lead by the Royals' resurgent offense.

"Our offense is just doing fantastic things right now," Guthrie said.

Guthrie cruised into the fifth inning when he gave up a one-out walk to Angels DH Efren Navarro.

"Yeah, just a 3-2 pitch that I thought was pretty good, but didn't get the call," Guthrie said.

After a single and a lineout, Calhoun came up again and mashed a two-run double to right-center.

"There were just two pitches I'd like back and both were to him," Guthrie said.

Mike Trout, who had singled off Guthrie in the first, fisted a soft single to right for another run and it was suddenly, 6-4.

"Pretty good pitch there, but he's a strong hitter," Guthrie said. "He did the same thing on the same pitch in the first."

But Guthrie got out of that jam by getting Albert Pujols to ground out.

"That actually wasn't my best pitch," Guthrie said, "but it worked out well."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.