Angels look to continue onslaught vs. Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Los Angeles Angels are scoring a plethora of runs, leading the majors with 93.
The Kansas City Royals are having problems scoring, last in the American League with 32 runs. Ten of them came in a Monday rout of the Seattle Mariners.
The Angels’ stacked lineup with Ian Kinsler back on top after missing 11 games with an adductor strain and Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols, the next three hitters, will try to keep the powerful offense scoring at will when they meet the Royals Friday night in the second contest of a four-game series.
“Looking at video they score a ton of runs,” said Ian Kennedy, the Royals starting and losing pitcher in a 7-1 loss Thursday said. “You kind of knew that. They’re a veteran lineup. They’re aggressive, but they’re selective in certain situations, too. You have to make your pitches. They have plenty of guys in the lineup that can hurt you with base hits, with power. (Shohei) Ohtani is their eighth hitter and he’s pretty good.”
Kinsler led off the game with a triple on his first swing. Ohtani broke the game open with a three-run triple in the sixth on a 97 mile per hour Brandon Maurer fastball.
Royals starter Jason Hamel will try to slow down the Angels’ offense, which has outscored opponents 68-21 in their last seven victories, Friday night.
Hammel is coming off an impressive outing Sunday at Cleveland, tossing six scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Indians. The veteran right-hander permitted three hits, while walking two and striking out five. He wriggled out of bases loaded situations in the first and fifth innings.
Hammel is 2-3 with a 5.30 ERA in seven career outings versus the Angels. He has allowed 21 earned runs in 35 2/3 innings. He last earned a win over them Aug. 10, 2016 while with the Cubs.
Hammel will be making his first home start of the season. He went 4-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 2017 at Kauffman Stadium.
Hammel set a career high with 32 starts and 180 1/3 innings last season. He has multiple walks in his first two starts, but allowed one or zero walks in 18 of his 32 starts last year, including 11 after the All-Star break.
The Angels will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney, who will come off the disabled list and make his first start of the season. He made four spring training starts before being setback by elbow inflammation. He went 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings in spring training.
Heaney missed most of last season after having elbow surgery. He has made one minor league rehab start for Class A Inland Empire on April 6 against San Jose. He earned the victory, giving up one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Heaney, who will be the seventh starter used by the Angels in 15 games this season, has never faced Kansas City.