KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals’ starting rotation continues to be a strength.
Danny Duffy allowed three hits over seven innings and Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer as the Kansas City Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-1 Friday night.
Duffy’s performance came one night after Jason Vargas threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings to beat Oakland. The Royals’ rotation has an American League-best 2.70 ERA after 10 games.
“I’m just trying to follow Vargy, I guess,” Duffy said. “He did a great job. They say hitting is contagious, pitching is too.”
Duffy (2-0) gave up a run on Mike Trout’s single in the first, but retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. He allowed just one hit after the first, striking out six and walking two while lowering his earned run average to 1.80 and improving to 8-0 in his past 16 Kauffman Stadium starts.
“It took him an inning to get settled in,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He just threw the ball extremely well, good fastball, really good changeup and some really good sliders. He did a great job of keeping those guys off balance.”
Salvador Perez also homered, his fifth of the season, and drove in two runs for Kansas City.
Moustakas homered in the first and the Royals added a run in the second when Paulo Orlando scored on a wild pitch by JC Ramirez (2-1).
Kansas City scored twice in the third. Moustakas led off with a walk, advanced to third on Lorenzo Cain’s double and scored on Eric Hosmer’s grounder. Cain scored on Perez’s sacrifice fly.
Ramirez, making his first start in the majors after 111 relief appearances, was pulled after 75 pitches and five innings, both career highs. His last start was Sept. 2, 2011, for Double-A Reading.
“I was kind of excited to start, and then I got those first two innings and I said ‘oooh,'” Ramirez said. “I thought ‘I can do this.’ They were just being aggressive to me.”
Ramirez, who retired the final nine batters he faced, allowed five runs and four hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch.
“I think those guys jumped him out of the gate,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He threw three pitches and he was down two to one.”
The Royals upped their lead on a Perez’s homer off Deolis Guerra in the sixth. Cain, who had his third straight multi-hit game, scored in the eighth when Perez grounded into a double play.
The Angels purchased the contract of Guerra from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings. RHP Daniel Wright, who threw four innings Thursday, was optioned to the Bees.
MOYLAN’S NO HITTER ENDS
Royals RHP Peter Moylan yielded a two-out single to Albert Pujols in the ninth, ending his streak of 9 2/3 hitless innings. It was the first hit he had allowed since Sept. 23 over 11 appearances. The Angels loaded the bases after Pujols’ single, but failed to score. He has not allowed an earned run in his past 12 outings, covering 11 innings.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (rehabbing from elbow surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make roster space for Guerra.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker has allowed nine runs on nine hits, including three home runs, five walks and a hit batter in 9 1/3 innings in his first two starts.
Royals: RHP Nate Karns is making his first Kauffman Stadium start with the Royals after being acquired in a January trade with Seattle.