ANAHEIM – Though the night began with love of a new season in the air, the game fell to a lack luster event between the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals. The Angels fell to the Royals in front of nearly 45,000 eager fans by a final score of 4-2.
Hector Santiago came into this season with criticism on how well he’d be able to keep his walk totals low, and work his way into commanding his pitches better.
“I’ve had a lot of negatives in my career,” said Santiago. “I think I’ve taken all those in stride and kind of put them together right and I feel I’m in a good place right now. I try to ignore the negatives and take the positives.”
Santiago finished his afternoon with five and a third innings pitched, suffering a loss after allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. Santiago also finished the night with four strikeouts, but had the dagger come in the sixth inning with a home run from Kendrys Morales.
“I think his first 50 pitches, Hector really struggled.” said Angels Manager, Mike Scioscia. “He struggled with command, trying to get through innings. Then, he found a nice rhythm and he looked like he was on his way. He just made a couple mistakes, a changeup to Morales, and didn’t quite get a cutter in to Cain for a base hit. As the game went on he found a comfort level but threw a lot pitches early and had a lot of work to get into the game flow.”
Santiago agreed with his manager, stating quite a few positives from his outing.
“I was ahead of the count, I threw a lot of first pitch strikes, all my pitches were working. I didn’t get where I wanted to go, they battled on me. I found myself on good pitchers counts, and was where I wanted to be but the end result wasn’t what I wanted.”
The Angels offensive game consisted of two man, one being to no surprise, Mike Trout, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, and David Freese, who has found a nice rhythm in 2015, and it didn’t end tonight as he went 2-for-4 with a home run.
“We need David,” said Scioscia. “There’s no doubt about it, on the offensive end hitting in the middle of our lineup and to be able to play third base at the level we know he can. He had a great Spring Training and he’s carried it over where he’s been swinging well and playing good defense too.
Opposite of Santiago was former Angels hurler, and local California product, Jason Vargas. Vargas went six innings of two run work, allowing five hits, one walk, and striking out a trio. He was followed by the Royals stellar bullpen, consisting of Jason Frasor, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis, who allowed one run (David Freese home run) on two hits and a walk.
“Vargas made some key pitches to get out of some trouble. On the offensive side, we were grinding it out. We haven’t really found out stride on the offensive side as a team. Some guys are doing a real good job and some guys are trying to get into a routine but those guys have a real good pitching staff over there, and their bullpen did a great job last year and did it for them tonight.”
The Angels offense has been limited, as the duo of C.J. Cron and Chris Iannetta have gone a combined 1-for-23 on the season. Iannetta finished the night going 0-for-4, picking up a golden sombrero with four strikeouts in all of his plate appearances.
Final from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California:
Royals, 4 (4-0); Angels, 2 (2-2)
W – Jason Vargas (1-0, 3.00
L – Hector Santiago (0-1, 5.06)
S – Wade Davis (1, 0.00)
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, Taylor Blake Ward can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard, as well as, @ValleyBayNews.