Pujols drives in 4, Angels beat Royals 6-2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Albert Pujols, even at 36 years old, is still an RBI machine for the Los Angeles Angels.
Pujols drove in four runs, Hector Santiago won his fifth consecutive start and the Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on Monday night.
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.
Part of that is from hitting behind Mike Trout, Yunel Escobar and Kole Calhoun, all of whom entered Monday ranked among the top 40 major leaguers in on-base percentage.
''Any time you're hitting behind Mike, you're going to get your opportunities,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''This year, what Yunel and Kole have done has really paid off for Mike and Albert. Albert is a terrific RBI guy. He drove them in tonight.
''Albert makes adjustments better than any hitter I've ever seen. 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 batted around in the first, which also 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.
The Royals loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but failed to score when Santiago struck out Kendrys Morales on three pitches.
Ian 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,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.
DAVIS TRADE POSSIBLE
With the Yankees dealing closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, several contending clubs have reportedly talked to the Royals about the availability of Wade Davis, who has 21 saves in 23 chances with a 1.10 ERA. Davis is under contract through the 2017 season.
''I wouldn't classify or characterize any player as untouchable,'' Royals manager Dayton Moore said. ''I never have. We always evaluate somebody's level of interest and what their level of interest may mean to the improvement of our team as far as players that they would be willing to part with. That's what you do. That's what we continually do especially this time of year.
''Whether we make a move or not, we are evaluating the landscape, which potentially puts us in a better position this offseason to improve our roster.''
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.