ANAHEIM -- After beating old Angels buddy Garrett Richards on Tuesday night, Royals pitcher Will Smith checked to see if they might get together for a postgame dinner.
"I texted him to see if he wanted to go but he said, 'No man, I've got to be up early. Both of us,'" Smith said. "So I went back to the hotel."
Smith earned the victory in the Royals' 4-1 triumph, after each rookie pitcher overcame a beginning in which all the game's runs were scored in the first two innings, and it looked as if both of them might not last long.
"That's what it looked like but something clicked for both of us," Smith said. "We both started getting down and getting strike one, which always helps. It's always good to make an adjustment in the middle of the game, especially when you start out rocky like that."
Smith threw 53 pitches in the first three innings, but didn't give up a hit or a run after the first inning, and made it through seven.
"He had 50-some pitches but more balls than strikes and, dang, he ain't gonna survive long against this lineup," manager Ned Yost said. "But he was effectively wild enough to give himself time enough to get locked in."
And Smith won his first start against the team that had selected him in the 2008 Draft, then traded him to Kansas City with Sean O'Sullivan for Alberto Callaspo in 2010.
"It's always fun [to win] a little bragging rights from them," he said. "But it's still the same game, you've got to go out and execute."
Suppan ready to answer call to big leagues
ANAHEIM -- Jeff Suppan has 140 victories in his big league career and, at 37, he wouldn't mind adding a few more.
"If somebody calls, I'll be ready," he said. "If they don't, they don't."
Suppan stopped by the Royals' clubhouse on Wednesday to visit with teammates who graduated from last year's Triple-A Omaha squad, which won the Pacific Coast League championship. Suppan had an 11-8 record for that team and mentored many of the young pitchers.
"In my Minor League experience, we'd never won a championship -- it was really just playing to go to the next level. Last year a majority of the team was there through the whole season so it was fun, and it's fun seeing them now -- and watching them now," he said.
Suppan never was called up by the Royals last year and moved on to the San Diego organization this year. He started the season with Triple-A Tucson, but the Padres beckoned in May and he pitched five shutout innings to beat the Brewers.
"After going through last year, it was like, 'All right, it probably won't happen,'" he said. "But, for whatever reason, things lined up and I got the opportunity on May 2 and I won the game. After just grinding it out all last year and then getting a chance to put on a Major League uniform again, and to win a game, was pretty awesome in my career. I was very proud of that."
Suppan was 2-3 in six starts before being designated for assignment. He decided not to return to the Minors but is staying in shape -- just in case. After 17 Major League seasons, including five for the Royals (1998-2002), he hasn't officially retired.
"I always considered myself a 'grinder,' I learned that expression from [former Royals manager] Tony Muser and that was always my mentality, and I feel like I'm going to grind it out as long as I can," he said.
For now, Suppan and his wife, Dana, are concentrating on the operation of Soup's Sports Grill, a family-oriented restaurant which they've had for five years in Woodland Hills, Calif., in the San Fernando Valley.
It's a very, very tough business," he said and added: "I hope that it's something that lasts a long time and expands."
Royals killer Pujols sits out rubber game
ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols, who has a history of punishing the Royals with his bat, was out of the Angels' lineup on Wednesday with a bruised right elbow.
Pujols was hurt in an odd mishap in the third inning on Tuesday night, when he swung at and missed a pitch from Royals starter Will Smith, but struck the ball with his arm.
Pujols stayed in the game, won by the Royals, 4-1, but was held out of the series finale. He was 1-for-7 in the first two games but, in his career, has a .367 (79-for-215) average against the Royals, his highest mark against any club, with 18 doubles, 16 homers and 46 RBIs.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.