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Angelo Morales Tosses Complete Game to Keep Royals' Pennant Hopes Alive
It was do-or-die for the Royals when they faced off against the Giants in a doubleheader on July 22. Trailing the Giants by one game, the Royals needed at least a split to kept their first-half pennant hopes alive.
In the first game, Royals righthander Angelo Morales took the hill and was up to the challenge. The 20-year-old Panamanian held the Giants hitless over the first 5⅓ innings before yielding a double to Tayler Creswell. The Giants added a second hit with no outs in the top of the seventh inning but Morales retired the next three batters.
But Morales' seven-inning complete game was in doubt because the Royals had also failed to score through the first six frames. Unless the Royals plated the winning run, Morales' day was done.
But the Royals pushed across the winning run in their final at bat. With runners on first and second and no outs, it appeared Giants pitcher David Newton had caught Royals runner Jason Taylor straying too far from second base. But field umpire Bobby Leon called a balk on the play. Giants manager Bert Hunter, incensed with the call, was ejected after loudly suggesting that the umpire should "read the *** [you can guess the adjective] rule book."
With the winning run at third base, the Giants' infield moved in. On the next pitch, Manuel Juan hit a roller that Giants shortstop Sharion Schoop did not field cleanly and the Royals won the game 1-0.
Morales recorded the Arizona League's first complete game of the season. In recent years, complete games have become a rarity in the Arizona League.
There were three complete games in 2005, all of different lengths. Athletics pitcher T.J. Franco threw an eight-inning complete game in a 3-0 loss to the Royals on August 12, 2005. Interestingly, Angelo Morales was the winning pitcher for the Royals in that contest.
Padres pitcher Scott Fogelson pitched a seven-inning complete game in a 12-3 win over the Brewers on August 19, 2005. Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart recorded a six-inning complete game in a 4-0 loss to the Royals on August 16, 2005.
Prior to 2005, the last complete game in the Arizona League was tossed in 2002. In the Arizona League's early years, complete games were fairly common. In fact, Angels hurler Jose Aquirre holds the Arizona League record with five complete games in 1993.