Infante’s Grand Slam Sends Royals To 8-6 Win Over Angels
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Omar Infante capped a seven-run inning with his first career grand slam, and the Kansas City Royals held on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on a rough Friday night for starting pitchers.
Jason Vargas and Angels counterpart Matt Shoemaker (5-2) combined to give up 14 runs on 20 hits — four of them home runs. Neither got an out in the fifth inning.
Michael Mariot (1-0) picked up with his first career win with 1 1-3 innings of relief, and Greg Holland earned his 23rd save by tossing a perfect ninth.
Salvador Perez had three hits while Lorenzo Cain, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon each drove in a run for Kansas City, which ended the Angels’ six-game winning streak despite limping into the series having lost six of seven.
C.J. Cron hit two homers for Los Angeles, and Mike Trout sent a shot to center in the first inning that went for 489 feet, four rows of seats and a walkway before landing in a fountain.
Trout’s mammoth drive only counted for one run, though, and on a muggy night with a brisk breeze blowing out to left field, it was going to take more than that to win.
Cron added a homer to left with two outs in the second inning, but Kansas City quickly erased its two-run deficit in the third by matching its biggest inning of the season.
The seven-run outburst against Shoemaker began with a double by Alcides Escobar, who added a single later in the inning. Jarrod Dyson, Cain and Eric Hosmer hit singles, Butler walked, Gordon hit a sacrifice fly and Perez added another base hit.
By that point, the Royals had pulled ahead 3-2 and the bases were loaded for Infante, who hit a high fly to left field that carried just over the wall and landed in the bullpen.
His first career grand slam came in his 1,268th game.
Butler added an RBI single in the fourth to make it 8-2. Shoemaker finished the inning but did not emerge for the fifth after allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a walk.
The rookie was 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Vargas nearly squandered the big cushion when Cron hit a two-run shot in the fifth for his first career multihomer game. David Freese, Chris Iannetta and Collin Cowgill joined Trout in stringing together enough hits to eventually put up four runs.
Howie Kendrick nearly tied the game with a shot to the wall in right, but Cain caught it on a sprint at the warning track to end the inning and preserve the Royals’ 8-6 lead.
Despite some hiccups, their bullpen tossed five scoreless innings to seal the win.
NOTES: The Angels traded RHP Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh for RHP Jason Grilli before the game. “We’re trying to get a bullpen with some chemistry and upgrade it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. … Angels LHP Hector Santiago faces Royals RHP Yordano Ventura on Saturday.