KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Luis Valbuena homered as the Los Angeles Angels won their seventh straight, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Saturday night with the final innings played with snow falling.
The Angels won their ninth consecutive road game, and will Shohei Ohtani as their starting pitcher Sunday. The Royals have lost five straight.
Trout hit his AL-leading sixth homer, a two-run drive in the fifth off Jakob Junis (2-1).
Upton homered to lead off the fourth. Valbuena snapped Junis’ 16-inning scoreless streak with a leadoff drive in the third.
Angels right-hander Garrett Richards (2-0) did not allow a baserunner until the fifth, when he walked Lucas Duda to start the inning. Paulo Orlando got Kansas City’s first hit with one out and Duda wound up scoring on one of Richards’ three wild pitches in the inning.
Keynan Middleton worked the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.
Drew Butera had an RBI single in the seventh that made it 5-2, but Whit Merrifield flied out with the bases full to end the inning. Mike Moustakas homered to lead off the Kansas City eighth.
Merrifield started in center field for the first time in his career. He has also started at second, first, right and DH in the first 13 Royals games.
The Angels used nine starters in their first 15 games. “We’ll be at a six-man rotation next week sometime,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. RHP Parker Bridwell, who made 20 starts last season and went 10-3, is the probable contender to join the rotation.
Royals: C Salvador Perez (left knee strain) joined Double-A Northwest Arkansas for a rehab assignment. . OF Bubba Starling, who has a left oblique strain, will return to the field Monday in extended spring. . IF Adalberto Mondesi (right shoulder impingement) returned to the field Saturday in extended spring. Assistant GM J.J. Picollo said they want to get Starling and Mondesi about 40 at-bats before sending them out. . Orlando has a tender knee and was the DH.
Angels: Ohtani, who didn’t bat Saturday night, will make his third big league start, all on Sundays. He is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, beating Oakland twice. The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the 30s with a 20 mph wind. “I grew up, I was born in a cold place,” Ohtani said through a translator. “Playing a game like that, I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that cold.”
Royals: LHP Eric Skoglund is looking for his first win since his big league debut on May 30, 2017.