--C Jeff Mathis went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo home run Thursday. According to STATS LLC, Mathis (who turned 28 Thursday) became only the third player in major league history to hit a home run on his birthday on Opening Day. The other two were Scott Rolen with the Phillies (April 4, 2000) and Ian Stewart with the Rockies (April 5, 2010).
--RF Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with a 446-foot home run to straightaway center field. In 155 career games against the Royals, Hunter is a .274 hitter with 27 home runs and 96 RBI. Both totals are his highest against any opponent.
--RHP Jered Weaver took a shutout into the seventh inning Thursday, allowing just two hits in 6 1/3 innings. He was pulled after throwing 107 pitches in his third Opening Day start. "It's obviously a little nerve-wracking," Weaver said of starting the opener. "First time out, I found myself getting a little excited, trying to do too much out there."
--The Angels had six players on their roster Thursday who were seeing their first major league Opening Days: C Hank Conger, 1B Mark Trumbo, OF Peter Bourjos, OF Chris Pettit, RHP Jordan Walden and RHP Michael Kohn. "It was unbelievable," said Trumbo, who started the game. "I got some goose bumps when that stealth bomber flew over (during pregame ceremonies)."
--LHP Hisanori Takahashi and RHP Kevin Jepsen each retired just one of the four batters he faced, and each gave up a solo home run. Angels relievers walked four in the final 2 2/3 innings of Thursday's game -- an issue that was particularly troublesome for Los Angeles' 2010 bullpen. The Angels issued more walks (233) than any other AL bullpen. "These guys are capable of pitching much more efficiently," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They all have good arms, and we're going to have to see that."
BY THE NUMBERS
49-19 -- The Angels' record against the Royals since 2003, a .721 winning percentage that is topped by just one matchup in that time. (The A's have a .738 winning percentage vs. the Orioles.)
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's like my 13th Opening Day, and you're still kind of nervous, wanting to see how it's going to go." -- Angels OF Torii Hunter.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.