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Skaggs outdueled as Angels' bats go quiet

Lefty returns from hamstring injury with 7 innings of 1-run ball
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Tyler Skaggs returned with a flourish, but it wasn't enough as the Angels' bats went silent Monday afternoon in a 2-0 loss to the Royals.

Skaggs, who had to be scratched from last Thursday's start because of right hamstring tightness, scattered seven hits in seven innings. He has now allowed two or fewer runs in 12 of his 15 starts this year.

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KANSAS CITY -- Tyler Skaggs returned with a flourish, but it wasn't enough as the Angels' bats went silent Monday afternoon in a 2-0 loss to the Royals.

Skaggs, who had to be scratched from last Thursday's start because of right hamstring tightness, scattered seven hits in seven innings. He has now allowed two or fewer runs in 12 of his 15 starts this year.

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But Hunter Dozier's leadoff double in the fourth was followed by an RBI single from Lucas Duda, and that proved to be all the offense Kansas City would need.

Video: LAA@KC: Duda opens scoring in the 4th with RBI knock

The Angels managed three hits overall and just two through seven innings against Royals starter Brad Keller. Andrelton Simmons had an infield single in the second, and Mike Trout singled up the middle in the sixth.

"I thought Tyler pitched a great game and used all of his pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We were fortunate that our pitcher kept it close and gave us a chance. But on the offensive side, it was a tough day for us."

Skaggs said there were no lingering effects from the hamstring issue that prompted the club to give him three extra days between starts.

Video: LAA@KC: Skaggs catches Almonte in rundown for out

"It was 100 percent," Skaggs said of his right hamstring. "Happy I took the extra few days."

The Angels (41-38) were hoping for a season sweep over the Royals. But they had to settle for 6-1 vs. Kansas City as the 22-year-old Keller picked up his first Major League win as a starter.

Video: LAA@KC: Keller goes 7 shutout innings, strikes out 6

"We have a lot of injuries right now," Skaggs said. "Once we get everybody back, we'll start clicking on all cylinders. The mojo will come back. It's a long season."

Skaggs has a 0.67 ERA in June after his 110-pitch outing.

"At the beginning of the game, I was kind of all over the place," Skaggs said. "But around the fourth inning, I thought I was throwing the ball really well."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Angels had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the eighth. Pinch-hitter David Fletcher was hit by a Tim Hill pitch and stole second. Martin Maldonado advanced the runner with a ground ball. But with a runner at third and one out, Kevin McCarthy struck out Chris Young. Then Ian Kinsler grounded to shortstop, and Kansas City had protected its 1-0 lead.

"He made some good pitches on C.Y.," Scioscia said. "That's it, and then he got Kins to roll over."

Video: LAA@KC: McCarthy strands a runner at third in the 8th

SOUND SMART
With his 0.67 ERA in June, Skaggs has the third-lowest ERA for an Angels pitcher in a calendar month with a minimum of four starts. He trails only Mike Witt (0.21 ERA) in August 1986 and Jim McGlothlin (0.66 ERA) in May 1967.

HE SAID IT
"It's difficult. A lot of traveling, but nobody is feeling sorry for us. We're all professionals." -- Skaggs, on the Angels having to play three games in three cities because of Monday's makeup against the Royals

UP NEXT
The Angels will continue to monitor the development of John Lamb (0-0, 5.40 ERA) on Tuesday, when the left-hander makes his third start this season in the series opener against Boston at 4:10 p.m. PT. Lamb, seeking his first Major League win since June 1, 2016, for the Reds, took a no-decision last Thursday against Toronto while working 3 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on six hits. The Red Sox will counter with veteran lefty David Price (8-5, 3.81).

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Los Angeles Angels, Tyler Skaggs