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Barlow, Royals stung by Angels' late homers

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

ANAHEIM -- Right-handed reliever Scott Barlow raised plenty of eyebrows in the Royals organization when he completely dominated in his last two outings, going seven innings of long relief and giving up just three hits and one run while striking out 10.

But Barlow got a reminder on Wednesday that for him to be that effective, he has to locate his four-seam fastball that sits at 89-91 mph. Barlow served up a center-cut four-seamer to Ian Kinsler in the sixth inning and Kinsler blasted it out to left for a two-run home run that led the Angels to a 4-3 victory and a three-game sweep.

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ANAHEIM -- Right-handed reliever Scott Barlow raised plenty of eyebrows in the Royals organization when he completely dominated in his last two outings, going seven innings of long relief and giving up just three hits and one run while striking out 10.

But Barlow got a reminder on Wednesday that for him to be that effective, he has to locate his four-seam fastball that sits at 89-91 mph. Barlow served up a center-cut four-seamer to Ian Kinsler in the sixth inning and Kinsler blasted it out to left for a two-run home run that led the Angels to a 4-3 victory and a three-game sweep.

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Kinsler's home run broke a 1-1 tie. In the next inning, Justin Upton belted a Barlow four-seamer for a home run that made it 4-1.

"I wanted it down and away [to Kinsler], and it caught too much plate," Barlow said. "Hitters let you know up here when you catch too much of the plate."

Added Royals manager Ned Yost, "Barlow made two mistakes. One trying to go fastball away and left in middle-[middle] to Kinsler. And the other was just falling behind Upton 3-0 where you have to come back and attack. In the big leagues, when you go 3-0, you better make it a good pitch or it will go a long way."

Video: KC@LAA: Upton clubs towering solo homer in the 7th

Alex Gordon had two hits and three RBIs for the Royals.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy came into the game having given up 29 runs in his last 23 2/3 innings. But the right-hander worked his way through traffic for five innings and gave up one run and seven hits while striking out five.

The Angels had the bases loaded and one out in the second inning, but Kennedy struck out Kaleb Cowart and got Michael Hermosillo to ground out.

Video: KC@LAA: Gordon draws Royals closer with 2-run single

After tying the score at 1 in the fifth, the Angels again had the bases loaded with one out. But Kennedy got Martin Maldonado to foul out and Chris Young to pop out to second.

"It's been a grind for the last month or so," Kennedy said. "But today was better. But getting out that big jam in the fifth kind of took everything out of me."

Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani left after four innings because of a blister on his right middle finger after having given up four hits and one run.

Video: KC@LAA: Ohtani exits after 4 innings with hand injury

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Royals had a chance to break things open against a struggling Ohtani in the fourth. With two out, Gordon singled in Mike Moustakas, who had singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Ohtani then lost command and walked Hunter Dozier and Ryan Goins on a total of nine pitches. But the next hitter, Abraham Almonte, came out swinging and struck out on four pitches to end the inning. The final two swinging strikes were well out of the zone, the last one was in the dirt. Almonte struck out four times on Wednesday.

Video: KC@LAA: Ohtani fans Almonte with the bases loaded

HE SAID IT
"This is a veteran group. They're professionals. They know these things happen. And there will be more guys traded before all is said and done. But they will just go out and compete." -- Yost, on the mood of the clubhouse after the trade of Jon Jay before the game

KC trades Jay to Arizona for 2 pitching prospects

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Royals review specialist Bill Duplissea continues to stay hot. With two outs in the eighth inning, Angels reliever Justin Anderson unleashed a wild pitch with Moustakas on second and Salvador Perez on first. The pitch, however, bounced hard off the backstop and back to catcher Maldonado, who fired a strike to third to get Moustakas. Duplissea challenged the out call and it was overturned, as Moustakas eluded the tag with a nice swim move. Gordon then singled in Moustakas and Perez to make it a 4-3 game. Duplissea is an MLB-best 15 of 17.

"It just shows you how effective replay is, because without replay, the game is nothing for us," Yost said. "But with it, Gordy gets the big hit and we have an interesting game again."

Video: KC@LAA: Moustakas safe after overturned call in 8th

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jason Hammel (2-5, 5.17 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals as they open a four-game set in Oakland on Thursday at 9:05 p.m CT. Hammel posted his third straight quality start Saturday against the A's at Kauffman Stadium, giving up three runs over six innings. Right-hander Frankie Montas (2-0, 0.64 ERA) will start for the A's.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Scott Barlow