Monday, April 4, 2011

Kansas City Royals Relief Pitcher Tim Collins Delivers
(AP - Photo -The Royals Tim Collins shut down the Halos in Sunday's extra innings loss)

Angels Weekly Recap - By Kurt Swanson, Contributor

End of week one: Angels 1-3 .250, 4th American League West 2 1/2 games behind first place Texas

  • 3-31: Angels- 4 Royals- 2; W: J. Weaver (1-0), L: L. Hochevar (0-1), S: F. Rodney (1)
In baseballs short first week the Angels opened a four game series against the Royals in Kansas City. Torii Hunter started the scoring, hitting a solo home run to lead off the fourth and then back-to-back doubles by Vernon Wells and Erick Aybar would give the Angels a 2-0 lead. Jeff Mathis would also homer in the sixth and the Angels would give starter Jered Weaver a 4-0 lead. Weaver pitched 6 1/3 innings, striking out 6 and only allowed two singles to Melky Cabrera. The Angels bullpen gave up solo home runs to Jeff Francoeur and Mike Aviles before the Angels took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Fernando Rodney would put runners on the corners with two outs in the inning before striking out Alex Gordon to end the game.

Game notes: First time the Angels opened a season series in Kansas City. Torii Hunters home run was his 27th off Royals, his most against any team. Jeff Mathis would become only the 3rd player to hit an opening day home run on their birthday.

  • 4-1: Royals- 2 Angels- 1; W: J. Soria (1-0), L: M. Kohn (0-1)
Howie Kendrick would get the Angels scoring off to a fast start with a solo home run in the top of the first inning, but that would be the only run the Angels would plate in the game. Angels starter Dan Haren pitched 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits and striking out 6 to match the 7 innings of one run ball pitched by Royals starter Jeff Francis. Jordan Walden would fan two and allow a walk in the 8th and the game was tied 1-1 after 8. Leading off the 9th inning Kila Ka'aihue would hit the second pitch from Michael Kohn into the seats and the Royals would win 2-1 on the walk-off homer.

Game notes: Joakim Soria only needed eight pitches to retire the Angels in order in the 9th. Ka'aihue's first walk-off home run in majors.

  • 4-2: Royals- 5 Angels- 4; W: A. Crow (1-0), L: K. Jepsen (0-1), S: J. Soria (1)
Torii Hunter got the Angels scoring off with a home run in the 4th inning, his second of the series and the Angels would add three more runs in the 6th and lead 4-3 heading into the top of the 7th. The Angels loaded the bases in the 7th before rookie Aaron Crow came on to strike out Torii Hunter and get Vernon Wells to ground out. Angels starter Ervin Santana pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and striking out 6. Kevin Jepsen gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in the bottom of the 8th to give the Royals a 5-4 lead and Joakim Soria pitched the 9th for his first save after picking up the victory the day before when the Angels bullpen faltered.

Game notes: Aaron Crow picked up his first major league victory. Angels bullpen either loses game or puts winning run at plate third game in a row.

  • 4-3: Royals - 12 Angels- 9, 13 innings; W: T. Collins (1-0), L: M. Bulger (0-1)
The previous four Angel starters, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana had pitched well only giving up 4 runs in 20 innings but things did not go so well for Angels starter Scott Kazmir in the final game of this series as he only lasted 1 2/3 innings giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. The Angel hitters kept battling back when Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back home runs in the 3rd and Mark Trumbo doubled in a run and scored in the 4th and the Royals now led 5-4. After a Kendrick home run in the 5th, his second of the day and third on the season, another home run by Bobby Abreu in the 7th and a homer by Alberto Callaspo in the 9th, the Angels were now ahead 9-7 going into the bottom of the inning. Fernando Rodney then came into the game and walked the bases loaded and after a double by Wilson Betemit the Angels bullpen had lost another lead in the series and the game was tied at 9-9. The Angels did not score in the four extra frames and with two outs in the bottom of the 13th, Matt Treanor hit a three run home run off Jason Bulger to win the game.

Game notes: Angels hit five home runs, two by Kendrick. Bobby Abreu goes 5-5 in the game with two walks and last Angel player to go 5-5 or better in April since Brian Downing in 1979. Angels need eight pitchers before end of game.

Series notes: Angels hit 9 home runs in series. Royals win in last at bat three games in a row. Angels bullpen (5.1 ERA and would be higher as three runs in 13th of final game were not earned after Jason Bulger error). Royals bullpen gives up no runs in first 10 innings before ex-Angel Sean O'Sullivan is scored on (royals bullpen 2.1 ERA in series).

Next up: Angels get a day off on Monday 4/4 to send the bullpen to trade school and work on their mechanics before heading to Tampa for two games against the Rays where they will start Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. After a travel day on Thursday the Angels will start the first game of the year at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. Ervin Santana will pitch the opener, followed by Scott Kazmir and then on Sunday 4/10 send Jered Weaver to the mound for his second start of the week.
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