Everyone could see the potential. Alex Meyer could fire a fastball in the mid-90s, drop a curve to buckle knees. The Washington Nationals took him as the 23rd player in 2011 draft and everyone waited.
If success did not come quickly, there was no denying he looked like a pitcher ready to deliver in the Los Angeles Angels’ 9-0 victory over Kansas City on Saturday that snapped the Royals’ six-game winning streak.
”This is one of those games you hope for, where he bottles the stuff with command,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He was in the zone with terrific stuff all afternoon.”
Bolstered by home runs from Cameron Maybin, Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena, Meyer (3-3) threw six scoreless innings to do his part in a two-hit shutout.
Meyer tied a career-high with nine strikeouts, walking one. He gave up the two hits, both singles.
It was the 6-foot-9 Meyer’s ninth start of the season, after beginning the year in the minors.
Maybin hit a leadoff homer in the first inning, Pujols had a two-run shot in the fifth and Valbuena added a three-run homer in the seventh.
Rookie right-hander Jake Junis (2-1) got the first loss of his career, surrendering five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.
The Royals had at least 10 hits in each of their last four games, but Meyer and relievers Blake Parker, Cam Bedrosian and Yusmeiro Petit combined for the Angels’ fourth shutout of the season.