By Earl Bloom and Jeffrey Flanagan
MLB.com |@FlannyMLB |
ANAHEIM -- Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez homered in a five-run fourth inning to propel the Royals to their fifth straight win to open the season, a 6-4 victory over the Angels on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
Moustakas' homer leading off the fourth inning was the Royals' first hit off Angels starter Jered Weaver, who was chased after 4 1/3 innings. Weaver allowed seven hits and six earned runs.
Kendrys Morales had three hits for the Royals, including a double, and he drove in a run.
"It's still early, but this team is very optimistic," Royals outfielder Alex Rios said. "This is a team that goes all out on every play, and we play smart baseball. Very impressive."
Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie delivered seven serviceable innings, allowing six hits and four runs. Guthrie then turned it over to the bullpen shutdown duo of Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who finished off the win. More >
"I thought Jeremy gave us what we needed," manager Ned Yost said. "He had a little hiccup in the fifth, but he came back out and got through the sixth and seventh."
Kole Calhoun was the main nuisance for Guthrie. Calhoun had a homer and a two-run double.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Two-out clutch hit from Rios: With the score tied at 1 in the fourth, Rios ripped a two-out single to left, moments after Alex Gordon had struck out (with the infield back) with runners on second and third. That gave the Royals a 3-1 lead, and kept the inning going long enough for Perez to rip a two-run homer and make it 5-1.
"That hit by Rios was the difference in the game," Yost said.
Said Rios, "I got into a good hitter's count at 2-0, got a fastball and put a good swing on it."
Smart baserunning: With Mike Trout on deck, third-base coach Gary DiSarcina waved catcher Drew Butera home to score the second run on Calhoun's fifth-inning, two-out, two-run double. Butera had singled for his first Angels hit, and then alertly avoided being doubled off on Johnny Giavotella's liner to second.
Hurting his former team: Royals designated hitter Morales continued to hurt his old club. Morales, who homered on Friday night, doubled and scored in the fourth. And then he delivered an RBI single in the fifth that gave the Royals a seemingly commanding 6-1 lead. Morales also singled in the seventh.
"He's so good for us," Perez said. "He's good for us in the clubhouse, on the field, in the dugout. He gives us energy."
Breaking out: Angels right fielder Calhoun, who had struggled out of gate (2 for 16, one RBI), led off the bottom of the first with a home run. He added a two-out, two-run double off Guthrie in the fifth, then scored on Mike Trout's single, cutting the Angels' deficit to 6-4. More >
"It was nice to get some to fall in, that's for sure," Calhoun said, "but you wish the ballgame would go your way, as well."
The Angels challenged a stolen base by Moustakas in the first inning. Moustakas was ruled safe because Angels second baseman Giavotella apparently missed the tag. The Angels lost the challenge, when the play was ruled to stand as called.
"He got off to a slow start last year, too, with a good wrist," -- Yost said of Gordon's early struggles. Gordon had right wrist surgery in December.
"We didn't see the best of him last year -- his elbow was bothering him. He's back throwing the ball really well, and has some versatility going for him." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of left-hander Jose Alvarez, who is being used in relief but might start down the road.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals:Yordano Ventura, the Opening Day starter, takes the hill in Sunday's series finale in search of his second victory. Ventura faced the Angels only once in the regular season in 2014 and went four innings, giving up two runs. That was an abbreviated start due to a nearly four-hour rain delay.
Angels:C.J. Wilson, coming off eight shutout, two-hit innings in a 2-0 victory on Tuesday at Seattle, goes against a Royals team he's never lost to on Sunday. Wilson, who was a reliever when he broke in with Texas, is 4-0 with a 3.20 in 17 career games (eight starts) against Kansas City.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.