ANAHEIM – Coming into the season, the Los Angeles Angels had high hopes to return as one of the best, if not the best team, in all of baseball. They’ve fallen victim to a challenging schedule early in the season, and it proved to show once again in their fifth game, falling to the still undeated Kansas City Royals by a final score of 6-4.
Jered Weaver took the mound for the Angels, and went three innings of strong work to begin, but had an implosion in the fourth inning, allowing four runs on four hits, and finished the night with six earned runs on seven hits and four walks.
“There’s a lot more than three innings in a ball game,” said Weaver. “I just gotta figure something out to get over the hump and get back to the way I ended the season last year. I’ll figure it out and get back to where I need to be.”
Weaver accredited his lack luster performance to problems locating his pitches and falling behind in counts. It is unorthodox for Weaver to have a night like he did tonight, as the last time he pitched less than five innings was July 7th, 2014 against the Blue Jays (two innings pitched, and was removed for discomfort after fielding a comebacker.)
“Everything mechanically feels good. I just can’t locate like I wanted to. I can’t get ahead of guys and if I fall behind I have to rely on myself and figure something out. Obviously, this isn’t the way I wanted to start the season, but the boys kept scraping their way against Guthrie and we fell short.”
On the offensive side, the Angels struggled to find a groove against Royals starter, Jeremy Guthrie, who went seven innings of four run baseball, allowing seven hits and one walk. All the Angels productive offense came in the form of Kole Calhoun who brought home three runs with his bat, including a first inning, leadoff home run.
“It’s nice to get some to fall in,” said Calhoun. “But you wish the game would go your way as well. It was a tough one tonight.”
For Calhoun, it was a nice change of pace, as he was 2-for-16 coming into tonight’s affair with five strikeouts, and no walks. He did seem to find his groove, and at an early part of the season, where he can revive the beginning once again.
“You gotta find it. We’re five games into it. You know how the season goes. You kind of ride the wave. We’ve had two good teams to start off with and those guys are swinging the bat well. A lot of stuff going their way.”
The Angels bullpen saw a boost from Mike Morin, who faced four batters and sat them all down consecutively. The Kansas City product spoke about his childhood team after the game, and how facing them is no different from any other team;
“I would say last year it was something I thought about. For whatever reason, it’s no different this year. It’s just another team. I might get a couple more text messages before or after the game, but out there on the mound it’s no different.”
Morin has yet to allow a run this season, and has retired eight of the nine batters he faced with a strong amount of ease.
“I was fortunate enough to have a good Spring Training and stay healthy. We’re only five games in, but so far I’ve done well and a lot of it has to do with keeping the ball down and getting ahead with my off-speed pitches.”
The Royals offense came primarily in the fourth inning, where they tagged four runs on the board, compliments mostly to former Halos player, Kendrys Morales, who finished the night three-for-four with a double. He currently is batting .667 (8-for-12) against his former teammate, Weaver. It was also his eighth multiple-hit game against the Angels, who he’s faced 31 times in his career.
Final from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California:
Royals, 6 (5-0); Angels, 4 (2-3)
W – Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 5.14)
L – Jered Weaver (0-2, 8.71)
S – Greg Holland (3, 0.00)