Royals cruise past Angels behind 6-run 2nd
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals ambushed Matt Shoemaker with a six-run second, and right-hander Johnny Cueto cruised through eight innings as Kansas City rolled past the Angels, 9-4, on Saturday night in front of 39,251 fans at Kauffman Stadium.
It was career win No. 900 for Royals manager Ned Yost.
"Coming into this thing, when I first started, my goal was always if I could get 1,000 wins, that'd be cool," Yost said. "So I'm getting close. That was the ultimate. When that happens, I'll be pretty excited.
"Right now, I'm just excited to get to 70 wins. I think we're the first team in the American League to get to 70 wins. I'm more excited about that than I am about 900."
Salvador Perez, out for three games because of a sore wrist, homered and doubled -- in the same inning, the Royals' six-run second -- while returning to the lineup. Jarrod Dyson added three hits, two stolen bases and three RBIs.
Cueto had a somewhat shaky beginning, surrendering a homer to Albert Pujols in the second inning, but then shut out the Angels over the rest of his outing. He gave up eight hits, walked none and struck out four.
"Johnny came out in the first two innings and he wasn't extremely sharp," Yost said. "Even though Pujols hit a pretty good changeup down, he just wasn't sharp. When we got the six runs in the bottom of the second, Johnny came out, man, from that point on, he was razor sharp.
"It's always good to give a pitcher like Johnny some breathing room, some run support and let him go do his thing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Celebrating a birthday: Dyson had quite a 31st birthday. First, he singled in two runs and stole a base in the Royals' six-run second inning. Then he doubled and stole a base in the third. In the sixth inning, Dyson singled in another run to put the Royals up, 9-1. Oh, and he also threw out David Murphy at the plate from center fielder -- Murphy was trying to score from second on a single to center. More >
Coming undone: Shoemaker's only prior appearance at Kauffman Stadium saw him give up eight runs on 11 hits in four innings on June 27, 2014, representing his only real bad start from last season. On Saturday, he couldn't even escape the second inning. The 28-year-old faced 10 batters, recorded two outs and gave up six runs on six hits, two walks and 34 pitches. After that, the Angels hardly had a chance against Cueto.
"It seemed like not one thing could go right," Shoemaker said. "I only got a couple of outs after all those runs scored, and you were just trying to throw a quality pitch, get a guy out. No matter what you were throwing, they were hitting it." More >
Welcome back Sal: After missing three straight games with a sore wrist, Perez hammered the first pitch he saw from Shoemaker and dropped it into the upper fountains in left-center field. Statcast™ projected it to land 454 feet away. That was Perez's team-leading 17th home run. Later in the same inning, Perez doubled in another run.
Perez said his wrist is fine.
"If I'm playing, it's because I'm good," Perez said. "No excuses."
No love: The Angels -- 6-for-53 with runners in scoring position in the first five games of this road trip -- got two hits with runners in scoring position in the top of the second, but they didn't lead to any runs. Murphy doubled, but was easily thrown out at home by Dyson after David DeJesus' single. Carlos Perez singled with DeJesus on second, but it was a swinging bunt. The Angels' only run that inning was Pujols' leadoff homer, his 31st dinger of the year and first since July 29.
"We're trying to build momentum," said manager Mike Scioscia, whose Angels have lost five of six on this road trip and 16 of their last 22. "... We never really gave ourselves a chance on the defensive side, and we'll turn the page on it."
ROYALS WIN CHALLENGE
The Royals used a challenge in the top of the first. Angels leadoff hitter Johnny Giavotella tried to get back to first on a pickoff throw by Royals catcher Perez and originally was ruled safe. After a review of two minutes and 41 seconds, the call was overturned, giving Perez his 17th career pickoff -- the most of any catcher since he broke into the big leagues in 2011.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Perez became the fifth player this season to get two extra-base hits in the same inning when he homered and doubled in the Royals' second inning. He was the first Royal to accomplish that feat since Jermaine Dye in 1997.
Angels: Hector Santiago (7-6, 2.87 ERA) starts the finale of a four-game series from Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, with first pitch at 5:08 p.m. PT on ESPN. The 27-year-old left-hander has a 5.91 ERA in his last four starts.
Royals: Yordano Ventura (7-7, 4.97 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals in the series finale at 7:08 p.m. CT. Ventura threw six scoreless innings in his last outing, a 6-1 win over Detroit. He worked around six walks but struck out eight.
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