Published July 25, 2012
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Will Smith pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in the longest of his five major league starts, Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the first, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Smith (2-3) allowed a run, struck out four and walked four against the club that drafted him in 2007 and traded him to Kansas City in 2010. The only hits against the 23-year-old left-hander came in the first inning — a line-drive single through the box by Torii Hunter and an RBI single by Mark Trumbo that followed a walk to Albert Pujols.
Jonathan Broxton allowed two singles during a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances.
Garrett Richards (3-2) gave up four runs, five hits and three walks in five innings. The 24-year-old right-hander, who is trying to secure the fifth spot in the Angels' rotation, got the nod this time around after Jerome Williams went 0-5 with a 7.53 ERA in his previous five starts and was relegated to the bullpen.
Williams took over for Richards and scattered four hits over four scoreless innings in his second relief appearance this season.
Richards, who bounced back from two straight rough outings against Toronto and Baltimore with seven innings of three-hit ball in an 11-0 win at Detroit last Tuesday, gave up Cain's third homer of the season after Alex Gordon opened the game with a bloop double inside the left field line.
Kansas City pushed across two runs in the second. Gordon hit an RBI single, and Chris Getz scored when Alcides Escobar beat second baseman Howie Kendrick's relay throw to first on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to shortstop.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout was 0-for-3 with a walk as his franchise-record streak of consecutive games with a run scored ended at 15, leaving him tied with Roy Hartsfield of the 1950 Boston Red Sox for the major league-record among rookies. Trout came up three shy of the overall AL mark set by Red Rolfe of the Yankees in 1939 and equaled by Kenny Lofton of the Indians in 2000.
The Angels received two scares Tuesday night.
Albert Pujols, making his eighth start as the designated hitter, hurt his right wrist swinging at an inside pitch in the third inning and was looked over by trainers before striking out on the next pitch.
Gold Glove outfielder Torri Hunter tried to make a backhanded diving catch on a sinking liner by Eric Hosmer in the sixth, and the ball bounced past him for a triple. Hunter spent several anxious moments on his knees while manager Mike Scioscia and a couple of trainers ran out to check on him before leaving him in the game.
Hunter led off the bottom of the inning, fouled a pitch hard off his leg and crumpled to the ground. By the time he got back to his feet, longtime Angels trainer Rick Smith had arrived and the frustrated Hunter shooed him away. He drilled the next pitch just foul down the left field line and lined out to first base one pitch later before Pujols struck out again.
NOTES: Three-time All-Star C Jason Kendall, who was attempting a comeback with the Royals' Double-A club in Arkansas, announced his retirement Tuesday at age 38 after 15 big league seasons. He played for five teams, including Oakland, and Angels fans will remember him for the time he charged the mound against John Lackey in May 2006 after Lackey shouted at him to stop leaning over the plate to get hit by a pitch — something Kendall did 254 times in the majors. ... Jean Segura made his major league debut at SS for the Angels and struck out his first two times up before reaching on an error. He was promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake for infield depth after Erick Aybar fouled a ball off his right big toe in Saturday's loss against Texas. ... Richards made 30 pitches in the first inning and 25 in the second before finishing with 96.