ANAHEIM (AP) — Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon hit solo home runs and the Kansas City Royals picked up their fifth consecutive victory, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 on Thursday night.
The streaking Royals have been getting it done with power, clubbing 14 homers in this unbeaten stretch. Cain hit a line drive that barely cleared the wall in left center in the third inning, and Gordon followed it up with a shot to center in the fourth, his third of the year.
That was more than enough support for Matt Strahm (2-3), who won his first career start after making 41 appearances as a reliever over the past two seasons. Strahm went five innings, striking out three while giving up three hits and one walk.
Ricky Nolasco (2-8) dropped his sixth straight start, giving up five runs and 10 hits in six innings, while the Angels failed to pick up their first three-game winning streak since Mike Trout’s thumb injury.
Gordon also drove in a run with a double and was able to score on Whit Merrifield’s ground-rule double in the second. Right fielder Kole Calhoun tried to make a leaping backhand stab at Gordon’s fly ball and compounded his gaffe with a throwing error that allowed Alcides Escobar to score from first.
Calhoun put the Angels ahead 1-0 in the first, scoring an unearned run when Albert Pujols singled to right after initially reaching second on Gordon’s error.
Danny Espinosa of the Angels lost a home run in the fifth when the video replay showed his shot into the corner in left had curled out of play.
The Angels did finally notch their second run an inning later when Yunel Escobar picked up an RBI, only for the Royals to respond with three in the seventh. Mike Moustakas had two RBIs, giving him 16 in 13 games this month.
Royals: DH Brandon Moss was back in the starting lineup after being limited to three at-bats as a pinch-hitter during interleague play at San Diego and San Francisco. Moss went 1 for 5.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker’s status for his next scheduled start is uncertain after leaving Wednesday’s game against the Yankees with tightness in his forearm. “Historically, he has had these before and they seem like they go away in fairly short order,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “How many days that is remains to be seen.” . Scioscia believes RHP Cam Bedrosian (groin) is “very close” to returning. Bedrosian pitched 2/3 of an inning in a rehab assignment with the Angels’ Single-A affiliate Thursday.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (0-6) has given up at least four runs in each of his last six starts. The Huntington Beach, California native and former USC star is unlikely to find any home-cooking against the Angels, with an 0-4 record in six career starts.
Angels: RHP Jesse Chavez (5-6) has allowed a home run in 11 straight appearances to set a franchise record. Chavez dropped his only previous start against the Royals in 2015.
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