By Alden Gonzalez and Jeffrey Flanagan
ANAHEIM -- Yunel Escobar had four hits, Johnny Giavotella hit a big three-run homer and the Angels put together one of their most productive offensive efforts of the season, backing a shaky Jered Weaver to once again beat the Royals, 9-4, in Southern California on Tuesday night.
Trailing by a run in the fifth, the Angels (10-11) scored five times against Royals starter Edinson Volquez, getting a two-run single from Carlos Perez and a three-run shot from Giavotella. That helped Weaver pick up his third win, despite giving up four runs on nine hits -- seven of them for extra bases -- and two walks.
"Offense did a tremendous job of battling against a guy who's throwing the ball extremely well," Weaver said. "I wasn't very good, but the story of the night was the offense. They did a great job battling back and forth. It was fun to watch."
The Royals (12-8) got a solo homer from Mike Moustakas in the first, his seventh, and took a 2-0 lead with an RBI double by Jarrod Dyson in the second. But the Angels picked up three runs in the bottom half, two of which came on a two-out, two-run single by Mike Trout, his first hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Angels, who entered with the second-worst OPS in the Major Leagues, strung together 14 hits, finished 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position and notched a season high in runs. Albert Pujols only had one hit in four at-bats, but all three of his outs were properly struck.
"I think we did a good job," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think we pressured them, we set the table, we got some big hits with runners in scoring position. … Those are all good indicators."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Johnny in the spot: Giavotella delivered the decisive blow against his former team and finished with his first three-hit game of the season. Giavotella entered with a .136/.156/.136 slash, with zero extra-base hits in 44 at-bats, and was in jeopardy of losing playing time to utility infielder Cliff Pennington. Then he singled, hit the decisive homer and laced a double. He is now 6-for-27 lifetime against the Royals, the team that made him a second-round Draft pick in 2008.
"I didn't perform as well as I could've when I was in Kansas City," Giavotella said. "I know that I under performed with the opportunity that I had. For me to have a big night like this kind of meant a lot, to kind of prove to them, as well as myself, that I'm capable of playing this game at the highest level." More >
Dyson's doubles: Dyson continues to cement his stake on the job in right field. He entered the game hitting .304 and he stroked RBI doubles in each of his first two plate appearances. The Royals had a season-high six doubles.
"We just couldn't get that timely hit," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Even in the second inning when we got a run, we had second and third and two outs and couldn't get that hit. We had opportunities and just couldn't capitalize. Weaver made good pitches when he needed to."
Game of Cron:C.J. Cron, like Giavotella, was off to a rough start, recently getting benched against a right-handed starter. But the right-handed power hitter reached base four times on Tuesday, working a couple of walks and coming up with two singles. The Nos. 7-9 hitters -- Cron, Perez and Giavotella -- combined to go 6-for-9 with two walks and six runs scored.
"That's critical," Scioscia said of the production from the bottom third of his lineup. "There's a lot of focus on … the guys in the middle of our lineup, but the guys at the bottom are just as important. They came through in a big way tonight."
No Eddie magic: Volquez came into the game 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA, but he struggled from the start. Volquez wiggled out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the first but the Angels pushed three across in the second. Volquez took a 4-3 lead into the fifth, but it all blew up when the Angels plated five. The Royals actually could have escaped the inning unscathed, but second baseman Omar Infante couldn't handle a potential double-play grounder from Cron with one out. It was ruled a hit.
"It was a weird night," Yost said. "I thought he had good stuff. I thought he commanded the ball well. But you don't see 10 hits and nine of them on the ground. That's his goal, to get ground balls. They weren't scorching the ball. They just found holes."
Added Volquez, "Yeah, just one of those nights. I wanted ground balls but they kept getting through."
As for the grounder to Infante?
"I mean, he was there," Yost said. "He had two plays to his backhand that he couldn't handle. (Alcides Escobar) had one, too. You know, it's a fast infield. I don't know if that had anything to do with it. But yeah, Omar can make that play."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the fifth, tying a career high he set in 2014.
The Angels have clinched their first series win against the Royals since May 23-25, 2014.The Royals had won the previous three.
FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REELS
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, widely regarded the best defensive players at their respective positions, turned in a couple of eye-popping catches in the second of a three-game series. Gordon sprawled deep in the left-center-field gap to rob Pujols of an RBI double in the second. Simmons made yet another over-the-shoulder catch on a pop-up to shallow left-center in the eighth, robbing Salvador Perez of a hit.
"He just keeps making one after another, and they just keep getting better and better," Scioscia said of Simmons. "This guy's showing us why he's the gold standard of shortstops in baseball right now. He's as good as there is."
Royals: Right-hander Chris Young gets the start in the series finale from Angel Stadium. Young (1-3, 6.41 ERA) gave up just two runs over six innings and struck out 10 in his last outing against the Orioles.
Angels: Nick Tropeano opposes Young on Wednesday, with game time set for 7:05 p.m. PT on KCOP. Tropeano (1-0, 1.69 ERA) has allowed just three runs in 16 innings while filling in for an injured Andrew Heaney.