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Kansas City at Los Angeles

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Kansas City (1-1) «2100110106121
L.A. Angels (1-1)000000201391

Hochevar limits Angels as K.C. rebounds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Luke Hochevar was tired of getting knocked around by the Los Angeles Angels so he took a new approach.

Hochevar took a shutout into the seventh inning and the Kansas City Royals got solo homers from Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas against Dan Haren in a 6-3 victory Saturday.

"That's a good ballclub, no doubt about it, and it's not an easy lineup to navigate through," Hochevar said. "They're stacked from one to nine, so I knew that I had to execute a lot of quality pitches. That was my focus, especially with Haren on the mound. Early on, I think the results were better than my execution, and then I kind of hit a groove in the fourth and started making a lot of quality pitches in key situations."

Hochevar (1-0) was charged with two runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings in his season debut. The right-hander, who was the first overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Royals and their opening-day starter last year, came in 0-3 with a with an 8.02 ERA in his four previous starts against the Angels.

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Hochevar gave up a pair of one-out singles in the seventh and was relieved by Tim Collins with a 5-0 lead. Bobby Abreu lined the left-hander's first pitch into the right field corner for an RBI double and Torii Hunter scored on a groundout by Vernon Wells.

The Angels, who were shut out through the first five innings a major league-worst 50 times last season -- have done so in each of their first two games despite the addition of three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols. Friday night they won their opener 5-0 with a five-run eighth after getting blanked for six innings by Bruce Chen.

"We're still in spring training mode and pitchers are way ahead of us, but I think we'll catch up soon. You can't panic right now with 160 games to go," Hunter said. "Today was one of those days. Hochevar kept us off-balance and we couldn't score any runs off him. He changed speeds, had his cutter working, and that's something we couldn't make adjustments on."

Jonathan Broxton, who became the Royals' closer after two-time All-Star Joakim Soria had season-ending Tommy John surgery April 3, followed Collins and Greg Holland out of the bullpen and got the final three outs after inheriting a 6-2 lead. He gave up a sacrifice fly by Abreu before retiring Wells on a game-ending double play.

Broxton hasn't had a save since May 2, 2011, with the Dodgers -- he was shut down two days later because of bone spurs in his elbow and missed the rest of the season. The Royals signed him as a free agent in November.

"It feels pretty good to get out there again. My elbow felt fine," said the two-time All-Star. "It was very frustrating last year, especially because I couldn't go out there and help the team win. I hated that the season ended up the way it did for me, but hopefully they got everything straight. I'm fine right now, so we'll just continue to go forward."

Pujols got his first hit with Los Angeles, a double in the fourth. He lined a 2-2 pitch over the head of left fielder Alex Gordon with one out in the fourth and tried to score on a single to left by Kendrys Morales. But Gordon, who won a Gold Glove last season, charged the ball and made a one-hop throw to the plate to get Pujols, whose hook slide appeared to have beaten Humberto Quintero's tag.

Haren (0-1) gave up five runs and 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings and struck out five. Morales was 4 for 4 with a double in his second game with the Angels after a severe ankle injury in 2010, when he jumped on home plate after a walkoff grand slam.

Jeff Francoeur, playing in his 1,000th regular-season game, hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the first. It was the fourth straight hit allowed by Haren, who minimized the damage by striking out Betancourt and Moustakas. Quintero led off the Royals' second with the first of his two doubles and scored on Lorenzo Cain's sacrifice fly.

"I didn't make too many quality pitches, and that's a recipe for disaster," Haren said. "I threw too many pitches up in the zone and wasn't really controlling the count too well. Obviously they got off to a quick start, getting four singles in a row, and I just never really got into a rhythm. ... But you've got to hand it to them. They've got a good ballclub and they did the most with the pitches I left out over the plate."

Notes

  • Pujols, who was 0 for 3 with a walk in his Angels debut, has never gone hitless in his first two games of the season.
  • Francoeur's first big league game was on July 7, 2005, with Atlanta.
  • It was the first time that Moustakas and Hosmer homered in the same game since making their big league debuts five weeks apart last season.
  • Pujols grounded into a double play his first time up, something he did a career-high 29 times last season -- including three on opening day.
 
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Luke Hochevar, who takes a shutout into the seventh, ends up holding the dangerous Angels' lineup to just two runs. (Getty Images)
Luke Hochevar, who takes a shutout into the seventh, ends up holding the dangerous Angels' lineup to just two runs. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

E. Hosmer
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Los Angeles

K. Morales
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF4000122 .000
Lorenzo Cain, CF4111012 .125
Eric Hosmer, 1B5221001 .222
Billy Butler, DH4010000 .125
Jeff Francoeur, RF4022010 .429
Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B3010012 .333
    Chris Getz, 2B11100001.000
Mike Moustakas, 3B4111035 .143
Humberto Quintero, C3120100 .667
Alcides Escobar, SS3010012 .333
Totals35612529  
Batting
2B - Chris Getz (1, Hawkins), Humberto Quintero 2 (2, Haren, Haren)
HR - Eric Hosmer (1, Haren), Mike Moustakas (1, Haren)
SF - Lorenzo Cain (1)
SH - Alcides Escobar (1)
RBI - Lorenzo Cain (1), Eric Hosmer (1), Jeff Francoeur 2 (2), Mike Moustakas (1)
SB - Chris Getz (1, off Hawkins/Wilson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Gordon 1
DP - Escobar-Betancourt-Hosmer, Moustakas-Getz-Hosmer
E - Humberto Quintero (1, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Luke Hochevar (W,1-0) 6.1522240 2.84
Tim Collins 0.2100010 0.00
Greg Holland 1100010 10.80
Jonathan Broxton 1211000 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 95-58, Tim Collins 7-7, Greg Holland 17-11, Jonathan Broxton 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 4-8, Tim Collins 1-0, Greg Holland 2-0, Jonathan Broxton 1-1
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 23, Tim Collins 3, Greg Holland 4, Jonathan Broxton 4
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Erick Aybar, SS4000011 .125
Howard Kendrick, 2B3010100 .286
    Chris Iannetta, C0000000 .333
Albert Pujols, 1B4010012 .143
Kendrys Morales, DH4240001 .714
Torii Hunter, RF4120002 .375
Bobby Abreu, LF3012011 .333
Vernon Wells, CF4001012 .125
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3000021 .000
Bobby Wilson, C1000100 .000
   a- Maicer Izturis, PH-2B1000000 .000
Totals3139326  
a-grounded out for Wilson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (1, Hochevar), Kendrys Morales (1, Broxton), Bobby Abreu (1, Collins)
SF - Bobby Abreu (1)
RBI - Bobby Abreu 2 (2), Vernon Wells (1)
PK - Bobby Wilson (1, Hochevar)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Hawkins-Aybar-Pujols
E - Bobby Wilson (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dan Haren (L,0-1) 5.11155152 8.44
Hisanori Takahashi 1000010 0.00
Jason Isringhausen 0.2000010 0.00
LaTroy Hawkins 1110110 0.00
Rich Thompson 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 93-60, Hisanori Takahashi 13-7, Jason Isringhausen 7-4, LaTroy Hawkins 17-12, Rich Thompson 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 4-6, LaTroy Hawkins 1-0, Rich Thompson 1-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 27, Hisanori Takahashi 3, Jason Isringhausen 2, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Rich Thompson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40022
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Jerry Layne