By Pete Zarustica
After getting swept in Houston, the trip to Kansas City on Monday provided a needed chance of place and pace. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim backed Hector Santiago with four runs in the first inning and went on to post a 6-2 win over the Royals. The win stopped a three-skid and improved the Halos’ record to 44-55. It also moved them to within a half-game of fourth place in the American League West.
In the first inning, Albert Pujols singled home two runs and the Angels added two more runs on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Nava and a single by Carlos Perez. The Royals (48-50) cut the margin to 4-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth on Salvador Perez’ home run, but the Halos would extend their lead with runs in the seventh and ninth.
Each time, Pujols singled in a run and ended up with a 3-for-4 night and four RBIs. Mike Trout spent almost the whole game as a base-runner with two hits and three walks. He scored twice.
Santiago (9-4) pitched 5.1 innings, yielding five hits and two earned runs. He walked four but struck out five. Four relievers held the Royals hitless and scoreless, including Cam Bedrosian who struck out the side in the eighth and now has an ERA of 0.97.
The series in Kansas City continues Tuesday and concludes Wednesday. On Thursday the Angels are back in Anaheim to open a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox.