They gathered in the stands around the home team dugout and down the left-field line, just like they always do before these games.

The difference Saturday was that instead of seeking the Angels' autographs, the fans could have been seeking the Angels' pulse.

This team had gone more than just limp. The Angels had gone lifeless, too. They'd looked like a boxer, a badly beaten one — punchless and toothless.

Going into this game, the Angels had scored 15 runs in June. Boston scored 16 on Saturday alone.

Then they finally broke through against Kansas City. A four-run second inning and a seventh-inning surge to win, 7-5.

"It's that one or two big hits we're lacking right now," Vernon Wells said. "They'll come. They'll come. We just have to try and stay patient and try not to think about the negative things too much."

Negative things, yeah, like $126 million?

Rarely does cash flow so outrageously positive turn into something so decidedly negative. But that's where Wells and his .179 batting average were entering Saturday, the highest-paid Angel also the team's pricey portrait of underachievement.

When the Angels took on Wells and $86 million still owed on the $126 million extension he signed with Toronto, neither third place nor nine consecutive games without topping three runs was the projected payoff.

Wells was supposed to produce, supposed to generate, and we don't mean boos from the crowd, which, yes, he heard recently.

"He's been over-swinging at times," Manager Mike Scioscia said when asked if Wells was trying too hard to justify himself to a new group of fans. "I think before talking about the fan base, it's his team. He's trying to contribute to his team and have more of an impact."

All the Angels are trying. That includes Scioscia, who has practically rubbed the eyebrows off his hitters shuffling them about. He has been searching for a lineup capable of stringing together something more than empty innings.