Joe Blanton got some backing from the Los Angeles Angels’ bats and bullpen and finally got his first win of the season.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit solo home runs, and Mark Trumbo hit a two-run shot to help Los Angeles beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday night.
After hitting for the cycle earlier this week, Trout’s eighth home run of the month was a monster shot, estimated to have traveled 463 feet from home plate. If that distance stands, it’s the longest home run of Trout’s career.
With Jered Weaver set to return to the Angels’ rotation, Blanton could have been feeling pressure after going winless in his first nine starts.
”I’ve been doing it a long time, why should I feel a sense of urgency now,” Blanton said.
The right-hander held the Royals to seven hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings. Trumbo put the Angels up 5-2 in the eighth with his team-leading 11th homer before the Royals made it interesting.
”I thought we showed a lot of life at the end of the game,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”We’ve got a four-game set, and their closer came in and had to throw close to 40 pitches in the first game of the set, and I thought we had a good approach. Any time you can put the tying run at second base and the winning run at first base in the ninth inning, you’ve done something, especially when you’ve been down three.”
Ervin Santana (3-4), who spent 12 seasons in the Angels’ organization before being traded during the offseason to the Royals, struck out eight without a walk, but allowed five runs and eight hits – four of which were homers. Chris Iannetta hit one in the fifth.
The Royals scored on ground outs by Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas.
Ernesto Frieri gave up two runs in the ninth on three hits and a walk. Perez, who had three hits, and George Kottaras hit RBI singles before Robert Coello was summoned to get the final out. He retired Alcides Escobar on a fly, to strand two runners for first big league save.
The Royals have lost 13 of their past 18 games to fall two games below .500, matching their worst record. They have scored three or fewer runs in 10 of the losses.
NOTES:Santana, who allowed a big league high 39 home runs last season, gave up four home runs for the second time in his career. … Weaver struck out nine and walked none in 5 2-3 innings Wednesday in an extended spring training game at Arizona, allowing one run and six hits against Diamondbacks minor-leaguers. . The Royals optioned RHP Kelvin Herrera, who had given up eight home runs in 20 1-3 innings, to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals recalled RHP Louis Coleman, who had a 1.04 ERA in 14 relief appearances with Omaha. Coleman worked a scoreless ninth against the Angels. . Perez, who missed the previous two games with a bruised right hip, returned to the lineup. . LF Alex Gordon went 0-for-3 to snap his 10-game hitting streak.