Royals bullpen struggles late in 9-6 loss to Angels

The KC bullpen allowed five runs over three innings in Monday's loss to the Angels.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Give the Los Angeles Angels enough opportunities and they find ways to score runs.

It’s a lesson they have taught the Kansas City Royals plenty of times this season.

Mike Trout had three hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, and the Angels beat the Royals 9-6 on Monday night.

“I thought we did a good job in the batter’s box all night, and you have to when you’re down 5-2 and you come back,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Trout scored three runs and drove in two, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols also had two RBIs, and Jefry Marte’ went 4 for 4 with a solo home run to help the Angels improve to 4-0 against the Royals this season. Los Angeles has scored at least five runs in each of the wins.

Tim Hill (1-2) couldn’t handle a bouncing comeback up the middle from Trout, and the ball had enough on it to carry to center field and allow Maldonado to score for the 7-6 lead.

“That was kind of a crazy one. That guy was pretty funky,” Trout said of the hit that produced his 39th RBI. “Once I got the two strikes, I was just trying to put it in play.”

Upton and Pujols each contributed run-scoring singles to add to the lead.

Cam Bedrosian (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth to get the win. Blake Parker got the last three outs, striking out Jorge Soler with a runner on first for his fourth save and the Angels’ third win in four games.

“That’s a team,” said Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who gave up five runs in 4.2 innings. “We’re going to pick each other up, and the offense did it huge. Bullpen picked me up huge, and we got the win, so that’s good.”

After Soler’s two-run double pushed the Royals’ lead to 5-2 in the fifth, Upton homered for the second straight game to pull the Angels within two in the bottom of the inning.

Marte added his third homer to start a three-run sixth. Trout drove in Shohei Ohtani, who hit a pinch-hit single, to tie the score 5-5. Pujols gave the Angels a 6-5 lead on a single that scored Trout for his 1,949th career RBI.

However, Salvador Perez tied it with a solo home run to left-center in the seventh.

Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Jon Jay each had an RBI for the Royals.

“We scored some runs early and I liked our at-bats early,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Offensively, it’s one of those nights where I feel like I don’t really lament any opportunities missed.”

MARTE’ MASHES

Marte’ ended an 0-for-16 skid by getting hits in each of his four at-bats, and Scioscia hopes to get more consistency from the backup first baseman.

“This guy, really, he’s got a great approach, especially against left-handed pitching,” Scioscia said. “We saw it a couple years ago and hasn’t really quite surfaced, but you saw it tonight with a great night and hopefully a sign of better things to come.”

TIMELY OHTANI

Ohtani had been struggling in his last nine games as the designated hitter, going 5 for 29 (.172), but he came up big in his first pinch-hit appearance at home.

“Got the rally started, so a good time for that there,” Scioscia said of Ohtani, who is 2 for 4 as a pinch-hitter.

Pujols went 2 for 4 as the DH in place of Ohtani, who will make his next start as a pitcher Wednesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: With Kole Calhoun (strained oblique) on the 10-day disabled list, Scioscia said he is comfortable rotating between Chris Young, Michael Hermosillo and Kaleb Cowart in right field. “We can mix-and-match a little bit, and just hopefully hold the fort down until Kole gets back,” Scioscia said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Brad Keller (1-1, 2.13 ERA) will make his first career road start Tuesday. Keller gave up one run in three innings of an 11-8 win over Minnesota in his first start Wednesday. The 22-year old has a 2.19 ERA in 11 relief appearances on the road this season.

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-4, 3.66) has lost two of his last three starts, giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-2 defeat at Detroit on Thursday.