Home runs lead Angels to sweep of Royals

Home runs lead Angels to sweep of Royals

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout, Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons all homered and the Angels completed a sweep of the Royals on Wednesday night, beating the reigning World Series champions, 4-2, in Southern California.

Nick Tropeano began the game by giving up a prodigious two-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the first inning, but the Angels' pitching staff -- without closer Huston Street, who suffered a strained oblique prior to the game -- kept Kansas City scoreless over the next eight frames, helping the club move to 11-11.

"It's one game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I think the focus of our club is good. We're doing a little more in some important areas to give ourselves a chance to win."

Trout tied the game with a two-run homer in the fourth, Escobar gave the Angels the lead with a solo shot in the sixth and Simmons provided a little insurance with a solo shot into the left-field bullpen in the seventh, his first as a member of the Angels.

Escobar's go-ahead solo homer

Tropeano gave up eight hits and a couple of walks, but only two runs in 5 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander now has a 2.11 ERA through his first four starts. Chris Young suffered the loss, getting charged with three runs in 5 1/3 innings to put his ERA at 6.12.

"He did a great job," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Young. "He only gave up three hits. They didn't have a guy in scoring position all night long. He pitched fine." More >

The win marked the Angels' first sweep of the Royals since taking all four games May 23-26, 2013. It marked the first time Kansas City had lost three in a row since the first week of September last year.

"You look at it, we're not swinging the bats right now," Yost said. "We were like 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position….It's just one of those things you have to kind of wait out until guys get hot...We're just not getting that timely hit.


Dead center: Trout and Escobar both hit big home runs off Young to straightaway center field. Trout's came on an 0-2, chest-high fastball -- the pitch he struggled to hit as recently as 2014 -- in the bottom of the fourth, blasting it a projected distance of 437 feet for his fifth home run. Escobar turned on a down-the-middle 3-1 fastball for a 413-foot shot that gave him three home runs.

Hosmer sizzling: Hosmer now has a career-high hitting streak at 17 games, and he did it in style with a two-run blast to center field in the first inning. Hosmer wasn't finished. On the next pitch he saw from Tropeano, he roped a double to left-center. He also singled sharply to right in the fifth. But he fell short of the cycle as he struck out in the seventh.

"Honestly, to me, it really doesn't even seem like I'm doing anything," Hosmer said. "It seems about 10 of them are one for fours. But that's what special about this team - no one is going out for individual stuff. That's how I feel, too."

Hosmer's two-run home run

No way, Jose: Angels lefty reliever Jose Alvarez entered having given up six runs in 9 1/3 innings, but recorded six big outs in the seventh and eighth innings, maintaining the team's close lead while allowing just one baserunner. The Angels have been searching all year for the right combination for the seventh inning and have sometimes used up to four relievers to try to hand leads to Joe Smith and Street. Alvarez retired three left-handed hitters and four righties.

"Those two innings were big," Scioscia said of Alvarez. "I think Jose is throwing the ball a little bit better as the season has started to pick up. He did a great job for two innings. His stuff looked really good. We're going to need him."

No Orlando Magic:The Royals had been 6-0 this season in games outfielder Paulo Orlando started. But that streak came to an end, though Orlando did his part: Orlando singled twice and stole a base.

"I don't know why people always hit that panic button. Of course you want to have a record over .500 in the first month, but it's a long season. It's a long freaking season." -- Albert Pujols, on his team rebounding from another slow start

Street suffered a strained left oblique while warming up prior to the game. An MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis. Street will probably have to be placed on the disabled list, though that hasn't been formally decided upon. The veteran right-hander was told to wait 72 hours to see how he responds.

"It just kind of happened," Street said. "I was like, 'What was that?' I made one more throw and I was like, 'There's definitely something in there.' … We'll kind of play it by ear." More >

With his home run, Trout extended his hitting streak to eight games. The Angels' superstar center fielder is batting .429 (12-for-28) with four home runs during that stretch, lifting his batting average to .295.

The Royals challenged a safe call at second base in the sixth on an attempted steal by Rafael Ortega with two outs. The Angels, already up 3-2 at the time, would have had a runner on second with two out. The call was overturned, ending the inning.

Perez throws out Ortega

Royals: The Royals are off on Thursday before starting a three-game series in Seattle on Friday, and right-hander Kris Medlen (1-1, 6.00 ERA) pitches the opener against the Mariners at 9:10 p.m. CT. Medlen gave up seven runs in his last outing against the Orioles, matching a career high.

Angels: The Angels are off on Thursday, then begin a six-game road trip with a weekend set in Arlington against the Rangers. Hector Santiago (2-0, 2.70 ERA) opposes right-hander Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.38 ERA) in Friday's opener from Globe Life Park, with game time set for 5:05 p.m. PT. Santiago has allowed just 10 earned runs in 40 1/3 innings against Texas since the start of 2015.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991 and for MLB.com since 2015.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.