Posted April 08, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City Royals
Although opening day was a thrill, the opening weekend of the season didn't go the way the Los Angeles Angels hoped.
With 159 games and nine more seasons left on Albert Pujols' contract, nobody is terribly worried about it just yet.
Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs apiece, and the Royals beat the Angels 7-3 Sunday, taking two straight victories and the series after Los Angeles' win in Friday's opener.
Pujols went 2 for 3 with a double and two walks, driving in his first run for the Angels with a first-inning groundout. Los Angeles' new $240 million slugger went 3 for 10 with two doubles in his first three games at Angel Stadium, but the entire Los Angeles lineup struggled in key situations Sunday, going 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
''We've got a great team here, and if we're going to get down about losing two in a row, then why are we even here?'' said Howie Kendrick, who had three hits. ''Even though we haven't been swinging the bats the way we can, we've had runners in scoring position, and that's the bright side. It's just a matter of putting it together and getting those key hits.''
Vernon Wells homered in the eighth, but not much else went well. Los Angeles again struggled defensively and didn't get what's expected from its vaunted starting rotation for the second straight day. Ervin Santana (0-1) yielded seven hits and six runs while failing to get out of the sixth inning.
''There's a lot of things that went south in the last two games,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''They have a good offensive club, but if you make your pitches, you're going to pitch well against them, as Jered (Weaver) showed in Game 1.''
Santana allowed a runner to reach scoring position in all but one of his 5 2-3 innings, dropping the Angels into a 6-2 hole.
''(Santana) looked a little out of sync in his delivery, and he wasn't able to repeat pitches,'' Scioscia said. ''His ball-strike ratio was terrible, and when he got into a tough part of the game, he was behind everybody. Those guys got some fastballs to hit, and they didn't miss them.''
Wells snapped a 1-for-11 start to his season with a homer into the bullpen off Kelvin Herrera, but Crow stopped the Angels' rally, stranding two runners in scoring position. Kendrick and Pujols reached base to open the ninth, but Jonathan Broxton relieved Aaron Crow and struck out Torii Hunter, Wells and Kendrys Morales for an impressive finish to his first save for the Royals.
''It's not a concern. The talent is there,'' said Mark Trumbo, who had two hits. ''I mean, who's to say we can't go on a real nice run on this road trip? I think everyone is actually swinging the bat well. We just haven't had a tremendous amount of luck with runners in scoring position just yet.''
Jonathan Sanchez (1-0) survived through five innings to win his first start with the Royals, who produced two impressive games from the majors' youngest roster.
''We had one bad inning in the whole series, really,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said, referring to the Angels' five-run eighth on Friday night. ''Besides that, we played great. ... We knew there would be a lot of hype. They've got a phenomenal team, and we knew it would be a big challenge, but we stood up and played them extremely well.''
Trumbo, the Angels' new third baseman, mishandled a grounder in the sixth inning for his third error in three games. Trumbo led Los Angeles in homers and RBIs as a rookie last season, but is trying to learn a new position on the job after Pujols supplanted him at first base.
''It's pretty obvious that I've had some plays get away from me, but I take it very seriously and I want to contribute in all facets of the game,'' Trumbo said. ''I'm not terribly pleased with the way it's gone so far, but I'm going to keep putting in the work and just use it as motivation to get better.''
NOTES: New Angels LHP C.J. Wilson debuts on Monday at Minnesota when Los Angeles opens a six-game trip against the Twins and Yankees. ... Kansas City is headed up the California coast to Oakland, opening a three-game series with Luis Mendoza on the mound Monday night. ... Angels catchers Chris Iannetta and Bobby Wilson both celebrated their 29th birthdays.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Albert Pujols is hitless (in large part due to the mastery of China-manian Bruce Chen) as an Angel and the St. Louis Cardinals are undefeated without their former MVP slugger.
This is the worst possible start to the season for those that are envious of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball franchise (see Cub fans), and the best possible outcome for goober* Cardinal enthusiast that...
Jered Weaver struck out 10 in eight dominant innings of four-hit ball, Peter Bourjos' bases-loaded infield single broke open a scoreless game in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels won Albert Pujols' hitless debut, 5-0 over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Erick Aybar put a bases-loaded triple down the right field line moments after two Kansas City infielders...
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs apiece, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 Sunday, taking two of three in their season-opening series.
Jonathan Sanchez (1-0) survived through five innings to win his first start with the Royals, who dampened the revamped Angels' much-hyped home debut with two victories...
This is exactly the kind of game the offense needed to get the ball rolling on getting this offense together. The 1st inning of the game is exactly what we needed to see out of the Angels to give us some piece of mind that this offense can and will perform. There were some bright positives with the offense in today's game, as well as some glaring negatives (I'm looking at...
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Luke Hochevar took a shutout into the seventh inning and the Kansas City Royals got solo homers from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas against Dan Haren in a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.
Albert Pujols got his first hit with Los Angeles, a double in the fourth.
Hochevar (1-0) was charged with two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings...
They say that the more things change the more things stay the same. For the Angels in 2012, that adage rings particularly true through the first series of the season.
Royals 7, Angels 3
The Angels have a new slugger in Albert Pujols and a new old slugger in Kendrys Morales. The Angels have a new catcher. The Angels have a new set of high expectations.
The Angels still can...
In the marathon that is a 162-game baseball season, a three-game losing streak is barely reason to panic. But after Minnesota was swept in their three-game season-opening series against the Baltimore Orioles, Twins fans seem to believe that not much has changed from last year's 99-loss season.
Indeed, it was a rough opening series for the Twins, who scored just five runs in...
Tonight, the Baltimore Orioles play their second game of the season as they face the Minnesota Twins at 7:05 p.m.
This is the second contest in a three-game set. Right-hander Tommy Hunter squares off against southpaw Francisco Liriano on the mound.
Hunter, who came into this season slimmer and more fit is looking to establish himself as the number two starter. Much like with...
Angels' Starting Line-up:
The Angels bounced back nicely
after losing two consecutive games this past weekend as they beat the
Minnesota Twins 5-1 in front of 39,414 at Target Field on Monday. C.J.
Wilson took the mound for the Halos...
You could see this one coming from a mile away, what with the glow of the Angels' Opening Day win shining brightly. After last night, I would have bet money the Royals were going to come out and do what they could to win. And even though I believe Dan Haren will have a great year, it was apparent from the outset that he didn't have it today. Couple that with the fact that...
The Kansas City Royals opened their 2012 campaign sending a message that they truly do believe in the “Our Time” slogan.
They headed out west to open this season and took two of three from an Angels team that many are picking to win their division. The contained the mighty Albert Pujols, unleashed Eric Hosmer season two, and survived Bruce Chen and Yuniesky Betancourt showcasing...
The Kansas City Royals are only 3 games into the season, however, they have already given fans much reason to believe things could truly be exciting in 2012.
Coming into this season, there have been a wide array of opinions on what the Royals record might be when the 2012 season comes to an end. The most optimistic of prognosticators predicted as many as 85 wins for the Royals on...
The first Angel Player Power Rankings of the season are here! We may only be three games into the season, but it is already pretty apparent which players are deserving of praise (that Pujols guy) and which aren't (that Wells guy).
As always, the rankings are based on a player's overall season performance with a weight on recent performance.
There is a lot of hoople and hyperbole that surrounds Opening Day that, by the third inning, usually fades into the background. Players feed off the initial adrenaline before collapsing back into the routine of the game. Tonight this effect was on full display. Some things were new. Albert Pujols got a huge ovation then went out and put up an 0-3 with an intentional walk. Vernon...