The first at-bats could not have been any more different for these two teams. Whit Merrifield led off against Alex Meyer and worked a 3-0 count before eventually popping out to the first baseman on a 3-2 count. On the other hand, Cameron Maybin destroyed the first pitch he saw from Jake Junis to put the Angels on top 1-0. That run would prove to be all they needed but not all they got.
Junis ultimately allowed 5 runs in 5.1 innings. He was done in by allowing 8 hits, including the home run to Maybin and a dinger to Albert Pujols - that home run allowed him to claim tenth place on the all-time RBI list all for himself from Mel Ott. He didn’t walk anyone and did strike out 6 so you might be tempted to think that he was a bit unlucky but he also hit 3 batters. 3. In 5.1 innings. Amazing.
For his part Meyer built on his momentum and pitched 6 innings, tying a career high with 9 strike outs. He had a lot of full counts but he had a very good curveball that he would throw in those situations and the Royals would inevitably swing and miss. He’s known for allowing a lot of walks but only gave up 1, today, to go with 2 hits. Make no mistake, the Royals’ offense was incompetent in this game but Meyer was pitching as his best self and probably deserved pretty much the result he got.
Chris Young appeared and allowed 4 runs in his 1.2 innings to make sure the Royals didn’t even dream of coming back in this game. 3 of those were off of a home run he allowed to Luis Valbuena. Travis Wood contributed another scoreless inning, his fifth straight encompassing 6.1 innings. He lowered his season ERA to 7.01 with the impressive performance.
The Angels scored 9 runs in this game after scoring only 6 total in their previous 5 contests against the Royals, this season. It wasn’t pretty but it still only counts as one loss. The Royals get a second chance at a series victory tomorrow afternoon when ace-apparent Jason Vargas will face off against JC Ramirez.