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(Friday, April 6th)
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Kansas City 0
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Jered Weaver tossed eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball and struck out 10 and the Angels scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 5-0 victory over the Royals on Friday in the season opener for both teams.
"I wanted to get out there and establish a fastball early," remarked Weaver. "Chris [Iannetta] threw down the right fingers and we were on the right page. We had some timely hitting. It was a good all around team win tonight."
The teams combined for just seven hits over the first 7 1/2 innings, but the Angels tallied three straight singles off reliever Aaron Crow (0-1) to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
Peter Bourjos fell behind new pitcher Greg Holland 0-2 but sent a dribbler toward shortstop Alcides Escobar, who bobbled the ball slightly as the Angels scored the first run.
Erick Aybar then broke the game open, lacing a three-run triple down the right-field line to give the Angels a 4-0 lead before Torii Hunter added an RBI single to account for the final score.
Albert Pujols made his regular-season debut for the Angels and finished 0- for-3 with a walk, while Weaver (1-0) improved to 3-1 in opening day starts.
Kansas City starter Bruce Chen allowed just three hits in six innings, but was lifted in the seventh for Crow. Jeff Francoeur had the only extra-base hit for the Royals, who finished 20 games below .500 at 71-91 last season.
"Bruce [Chen] pitched a heck of a game," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "He gave us six strong innings. We knew we were going to be in a battle facing Weaver."
Pujols, who signed a monster 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels in the offseason, had a runner in scoring position in his first plate appearance as an Angel after Howard Kendrick laced a double to center field. Pujols, though, lined into a double play to end the Halos' threat in the bottom of the first.
Kansas City got its best opportunity to score in the third, as Brayan Pena and Escobar each stroked singles to start the frame, but Weaver struck out the next three batters to escape the inning.
No one else reached base for the Royals until Francoeur smoked a one-out double over the outstretched glove of third baseman Mark Trumbo, but Weaver caught Francoeur leaning off second and picked him off to quell the threat.
Crow entered to face the heart of the Angels lineup to start the seventh and the righty punched out Kendrick, Pujols and Hunter before running into trouble in the bottom of the eighth.
Scott Downs pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to seal the victory for the Halos.
The Angels went 86-76 in 2011 and finished in second in the American League West, 10 games behind the Texas Rangers...Kendrys Morales finished 1-for-3 for the Angels and was playing in his first regular-season game since fracturing his left leg on May 29, 2010 while celebrating his walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning against the Mariners...Kansas City went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.
04/07 01:37:54 ET