Angels win despite Pujols' quiet debut

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 07, 2012
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 couldn't handle Bourjos' chopper, giving a comfortable lead to the Angels after a tense start to Pujols' tenure. Los Angeles began a season of enormous expectations with its eighth opening-day win in the last nine years, and even did it with no help from Pujols. The feared slugger went 0 for 3 with an eighth-inning intentional walk after getting several raucous pregame ovations from a crowd that still can't quite believe he's wearing a halo cap. Pujols lined into a first-inning double play before popping out in the third and striking out on three pitches in the seventh. After winning three NL MVP awards and two World Series titles during 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million deal to continue his career on the West Coast, hopefully adding life to the Angels' often-punchless lineup. Yet the Angels' other new additions led their eighth-inning rally, which began with a single by Kendrys Morales in his first game since breaking his ankle nearly two years ago. Morales singled to right against All-Star reliever Aaron Crow (0-1), and pinch-runner Alexi Amarista advanced to third on sharp singles by Mark Trumbo and new catcher Chris Iannetta. After Bourjos' single, Aybar's shot down the line cleared the bases, and Torii Hunter added a run-scoring single moments later. In his fourth opening-day start for the Angels, Weaver (1-0) was in the same intimidating form that made him the runner-up for last year's AL Cy Young award. The right-hander retired 13 straight after allowing back-to-back singles in the third inning, finished with double-digit strikeouts for the 12th time in his career, and didn't walk a batter. Bruce Chen, the oldest player on the majors' youngest team, matched each of Weaver's zeros during six innings of three-hit ball in the first opening day start of his 14-year, 10-team career. Pujols was the center of attention at Angel Stadium from the moment he stepped on the field for batting practice. Dozens of phones and cameras clicked during his pregame sprints, and he got the longest and loudest ovation from the Orange County crowd during pregame introductions, taking off his red cap and saluting his new fans. The crowd also gave a long ovation to Morales, who made his first appearance with the Angels since May 29, 2010, when the Cuban power hitter broke his left ankle jumping on home plate to celebrate a game-ending grand slam. Trumbo, who led the Angels in homers and RBIs as a rookie first baseman last year, had a rocky debut at third base after taking up the position in spring training. He made a throwing error on his first chance in the second inning, pulling Pujols off the bag after stopping a grounder, and badly misjudged a foul pop in the seventh, earning another error. NOTES: Weaver is the third Angels pitcher to get at least 10 strikeouts on opening day, joining Nolan Ryan (12 apiece in 1973 and 1975) and Andy Messersmith (11 in 1970). ... The clubs also met on opening day last season, with the Angels winning 4-2 in Kansas City. The Royals hadn't opened a season in Anaheim since 1975. ... Bobby Abreu began the season on the Angels' bench after going 7 for 55 in spring training amid reported complaints about his potential playing time.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Danny Trevathan: Broncos defense better than ’85 Bears

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker