KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — By the time Ian Kennedy made the necessary adjustments, the Kansas City Royals were down four runs.
Albert Pujols drove in four runs, Hector Santiago won his fifth consecutive start and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Royals 6-2 on Monday night.
The Angels batted around in a four-run first against Kennedy. The inning included four hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly.
"It was all mechanical," Kennedy said. "I was not throwing good quality pitches. It’s one of those feelings where you are trying to find it and search for it. It didn’t come to me until about the second or third inning. By that time it was too late."
Kennedy allowed just two hits and one walk the next four innings, but the damage was done.
"He made some adjustments and did a nice job of holding it right there, giving us a chance to crawl back in," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Pujols drove in two with a bases-loaded single during a four-run first, then added RBI singles in the seventh and ninth innings. He leads the majors with 26 RBIs in July, including 16 in his past eight games, and he has 76 this season despite a .254 average.
"Albert makes adjustments better than any hitter I’ve ever seen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are little adjustments he makes. He knows what he’s doing in the batter’s box when there are guys in scoring position. Today he used the middle of the field and right field. He did a great job."
The Angels’ first included Daniel Nava’s sacrifice fly and Carlos Perez’s RBI infield single with two outs.
Santiago (9-4) is 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA in July. He held the Royals to two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the only Royals runs. It was the sixth straight game the Royals have scored four or fewer runs.
"Salvy’s big two-run homer was nice, cut the deficit to two, but we just couldn’t do anything after that," Yost said.
The Royals loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but failed to score when Santiago struck out Kendrys Morales on three pitches.
Kennedy (6-9), who did not give up a home run for the first time in 10 starts, is 0-3 in five starts since a victory June 26. He allowed four runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batter in five-plus innings.
The Royals did not have a baserunner against four relievers. Cam Bedrosian struck out Eric Hosmer, Morales and Perez on 13 pitches in the eighth inning. Bedrosian has not permitted a run in his past 22 games, covering 20 2/3 innings.
The Royals have lost 14 of 20 July games to fall two games below .500.
"They still have confidence they can compete for a playoff spot and so do I," Yost said.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano, who has been diagnosed with a medium to high grade UCL right elbow tear, traveled to New York for a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek. … Angels RHP Joe Smith was unavailable because of tightness in his back.
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain (left hamstring strain) will begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Omaha.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs, who has not thrown in the majors since July 31, 2014, after elbow surgery and shoulder tendinitis, will start Tuesday. In his past two starts with Triple-A Salt Lake, he allowed no runs and two hits while striking out 26 in 12 2/3 innings.
Royals: RHP Dillon Gee makes his first start against the Angels since April 11, 2014, while with the Mets.