The long ball proved to be the undoing of Jakob Junis and the Royals on a snowy Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium, as the Los Angeles Angels went deep three times off the Royals starter and topped the Royals 5-3 to push Kansas City’s losing streak to five games.
Junis’ 16-inning scoreless streak to open his season was stopped rudely in its tracks by Luis Valbuena, who hammered a homer to right-center field to open the scoring in the top of the third inning. Justin Upton would lead off the fourth with a solo shot, and in the fifth after two outs were recorded, Zack Cozart walked and Mike Trout ripped a ball that one-hopped off the Royals Hall of Fame in left to put the Angels in front 4-0. Junis would depart two batters later having surrendered four runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds innings. He struck out seven, one shy of tying a career-high.
The Royals would get on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Lucas Duda scrambled in to score from third on Angels starter Garrett Richards’ third wild pitch of the inning. But Alcides Escobar would ground into a double play with two on to end the Royal threat.
Kansas City tallied a run in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Drew Butera, and another in the eighth when Mike Moustakas hit his third homer of the year, a solo blast to right. But the Royals left the tying runs on base in both frames.
Richards would earn the win on the mound for the Angels, working five-plus innings and allowing one run on just one hit – a fifth-inning single by Paulo Orlando. He struck out five and walked three in moving to 2-0 on the season. Keynan Middleton worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his fourth save. Junis fell to 2-1 with the loss.
The Royals are still looking for their first win the season in a game in which they give up a run. They’re 0-10 when their opponent scores.
With the loss, the Royals are now 3-10 on the year. It’s their worst start to the season since 2012.
POSTGAME: Ned Yost
POSTGAME: Jake Junis