Anaheim, CA – Will Smith teamed with Garrett Richards, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout during his minor league days with the Angels before being traded to the Royals.
Tuesday night marked the best start of Smith's young major league career, as the left-hander pitched seven innings in Kansas City's 4-1 win against his former organization.
A seventh-round draft pick by the Angels in 2008, Smith, 23, was dealt to the Royals on July 22, 2010. Tuesday night marked the left-hander's fifth major league start and the first time facing the Angels, also with Richards as the opposing pitcher.
Smith (2-3), who allowed a pair of hits, a run and four walks, also had four strikeouts.
"That's a tough lineup to navigate against," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Will was wild enough early to be tough to hit, then he settled down. Seven innings against that ball club is a heck of a game."
Lorenzo Cain belted a two-run homer in the first inning, and Kansas City won for just the third time in its last 10 games.
Richards (3-2) was charged with five hits and four runs over five innings.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout went 0-for-3 with a walk and saw a pair of streaks snapped. He had a hit in 12 straight contests and scored a run in 15 consecutive games to tie the MLB rookie record set by Roy Hartsfield with the Boston Braves in 1950.
Alex Gordon doubled to lead off the contest, and with one out Cain belted a ball over the wall in left field.
Trumbo singled in a run in the bottom of the first, but Howie Kendrick killed a rally by grounding into a double play.
KC went ahead for good the following inning, but only after third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who was involved in the Smith trade, made a great stop to take away an extra-base hit from Jeff Francoeur.
Eric Hosmer walked and Chris Getz singled, leading to Gordon's bloop RBI base hit to left. A fielder's choice grounder by Alcides Escobar plated another run.
"After the first two innings, I told myself I have to be better at pounding the strike zone," Richards said. "It's fun to play against an old buddy. Will and I go to dinner when we can. I think I'll be buying next time."
Smith took over from there and didn't allow a hit the rest of the way. He retired 11 in a row until walking Kendrick to start the seventh, but Kendrys Morales promptly grounded into a double play.
Smith was removed after throwing 102 pitches and was replaced by Greg Holland to start the eighth.
"After the first inning, I settled down and made good pitches," Smith said. "Something just clicked in. The defense I had behind me was unreal. Garrett is a good friend of mine and it always feels good to win against a buddy."
Jonathan Broxton tossed the ninth for his 23rd save of the year, but had to escape trouble. With runners on first and second, Callaspo grounded out to first to end the game.
Gordon had three of Kansas City's nine hits...Angels right fielder Torii Hunter received medical attention in the sixth inning after diving for what turned out to be a triple for Hosmer. Hunter remained in the game...The Royals, who are 3-2 against the Angels this season, have captured 10 of the last 14 in this series...The three-game series concludes Wednesday afternoon with Luke Hochevar to pitch for the Royals and Jered Weaver for the Angels. Weaver is 7-0 over his last nine starts and hasn't lost since May 13 at Texas.