Duffy a bit less sharp, Royals lose opener of Angels series
Nori Aoki had two singles and a double, while the rest of the Royals' offense produced just two hits.
Jae C. Hong / AP
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A second straight complete game was not needed from C.J. Wilson, who had enough offensive and defensive support from his teammates to make working into the seventh enough.
Mike Trout homered and threw out a runner at third base to complete an inning-ending double play, Chris Iannetta also went deep, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the punchless Kansas City Royals 6-1 Friday night.
Wilson (6-3) allowed a run and four hits, struck out three and walked four in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander also hit two batters, including leadoff man Nori Aoki with his 105th and final pitch.
"He was swinging at everything, and I didn't want him to hit another little blooper," Wilson said. "So I wanted to throw a pitch that he was going to have to challenge him to swing hard at. It was up and in, and he stands completely over the plate. I would have tried to get out of the way."
Aoki had two singles and a double, while the rest of the Royals' offense produced just two hits.
"You're not going to score many runs when you get five hits on the night, and three are from one guy," manager Ned Yost said.
Wilson, coming off a 127-pitch shutout against Tampa Bay last Saturday, threw fewer than 111 pitches for the first time in 10 starts this season.
"It's frustrating. You make a lot of good pitches and they keep fouling them off. But you have to give them credit for working my pitch count up," he said.
Sean Burnett retired Eric Hosmer on a grounder to second base for the final out of the seventh, after Kevin Jepsen relieved Wilson and struck out Alcides Escobar. It was Burnett's first appearance on a major-league mound since May 26, 2013, after undergoing surgery on Aug. 7 to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow.
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"From an emotional standpoint, we're all rooting for him," Wilson said. "It's tough for a guy who's been working hard and has had more setbacks after almost a year. We need him, because he can be really effective."
The Angels won for the 11th time in 14 games and are a season-best seven games over .500.
Danny Duffy (2-4) gave up five runs and nine hits over six innings in his fourth start since he began filling in for Bruce Chen, who has a sore back. The 25-year-old left-hander was coming off a 1-0 victory against Baltimore in which he retired the first 20 batters.
"I probably could have mixed it up a little better, but I got lazy on a couple of off-speed pitches and I paid the price," Duffy said.
The Angels took a 2-1 lead in the second when Iannetta hit his fourth homer of the season with one out and No. 9 hitter Collin Cowgill hit a two-out RBI single. Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain robbed David Freese of a three-run homer in the seventh before C.J. Cron followed with an RBI single for the Angels to make it 6-1.
Trout gave Wilson a little more breathing room with his ninth home run leading off the third. The Angels extended the margin to 5-1 in the sixth on Eric Aybar's RBI single and a run-scoring double by Grant Green.
The Royals were trailing 3-1 in the fifth when Aoki led off with a double. He tried to tag up on Hosmer's one-out flyball to center and was thrown out as Freese took Trout's throw on the fly and slapped the tag on Aoki.
"That's not a good chance he took right there," Yost said. "You never want to make the third out. We had Billy (Butler) coming up. Trout has a 70 arm, and when he catches the ball, you don't challenge in that situation."
Alex Gordon opened the scoring with a two-out, run-scoring single.
NOTES: In his six starts at the "Big A" this season, Wilson has allowed only one home run -- a solo shot by Seattle's Brad Miller on April 1. ... Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, who hasn't been in uniform since breaking his right leg while catching a ceremonial first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero on opening night, stopped by the ballpark and said his rehab is progressing well. He is hoping to return to the dugout and the batting cages sometime before the All-Star break. ... Burnett was coming off a six-game rehab assignment with Double-A Arkansas. OF/IB Efren Navarro was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for him on the 25-man roster. ... This was the fifth time since Iannetta and Wilson became teammates in 2012 that Iannetta homered when they were batterymates. Wilson is 5-0 in those games.