RECAP: Pujols hits 522nd home run, Royals sweep Angels with 9-2 win
Alcides Escobar and Alex Rios hit two-run doubles, Salvador Perez homered, and the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals extended their season-opening win streak to six games with a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
The winning streak is the Royals' second-longest to open a season. They won their first nine in 2003 under first-year manager Tony Pena, but finished only four games over .500 and third in the AL Central.
Albert Pujols hit his 522nd home run, moving past Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas for sole possession of 18th on the career list. The solo drive off Yordano Ventura (2-0) landed in the lower seats in the left-field corner.
The Royals' 23-year-old right-hander was coming off a 10-1 win at Chicago in which he left in the seventh after 81 pitches because of a cramp in his thumb. After Pujols' homer, he didn't allow another hit until Mike Trout's one-out single in the sixth.
Moments later, Trout slid across the plate on Pujols' double - which center fielder Lorenzo Cain bobbled for the Royals' first error of the season.
Ventura, who was backing up home plate on the play, had some words with Trout. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.
C.J. Wilson (1-1) allowed seven runs - six earned - and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings after pitching eight innings of two-hit ball in a 2-0 victory at Seattle last Tuesday. He took the loss in the finale of last year's AL Division Series, which completed the Royals' three-game sweep.
Angels: RF Kole Calhoun, who homered and drove in three runs in Saturday night's 6-4 loss, got the day off to rest a sore calf. "His calf is a little bit tight, so we're just going to take a precautionary day," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been nursing it for a couple of days, and we just don't want it to go in the wrong direction right now."
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy makes his second start of the season in the opener of a three-game series at Minnesota, after giving up five runs over five innings last Wednesday in a no-decision at Chicago.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker, coming off a 5-3 victory at Seattle in which he allowed three runs over six innings, makes his second start of the season on Monday at Texas. He is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers.