ANAHEIM -- It wasn't a save situation, but big Jonathan Broxton got his first chance as a ninth-inning replacement for Royals closer Joakim Soria on Saturday.
Chris Getz had just doubled, stole third and scored on a throwing error to give the Royals a 6-2 lead over the Angels. Greg Holland zipped through a scoreless eighth and on came Broxton.
Kendrys Morales said hello with his fourth hit of the game, a double, and Torii Hunter bunted safely. But after Bobby Abreu's sacrifice fly, Broxton ended the Royals' 6-3 win by getting Vernon Wells to ground sharply into a double play.
Broxton gained All-Star fame as a closer for the Dodgers, and while he wasn't exactly back in Los Angeles, he was in the neighborhood. Did it feel like old times?
"It was close," Broxton said. "I got out of it with no pain, so that's the important thing."
This was Broxton's first appearance for the Royals and first in the Majors since last May 3. Bone spurs in his pitching elbow finally led to surgery in September so this was a crucial test for him.
Manager Ned Yost is giving him the first crack at replacing Soria, who had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, although he's made it clear it's not to be considered etched in stone. Holland or Aaron Crow could be in the closer picture as well if Broxton falters. But Yost thinks he can do the job.
"He's thrown good all spring, he hasn't given me any reason to believe he can't," Yost said.