KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Shohei Ohtani and Max Stassi hit towering homers, Luis Rengifo added a bases-loaded double to break open a close game in the seventh inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 on Tuesday night.
Jose Suarez (2-4) scattered three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings before the Los Angeles bullpen, which was hammered by Kansas City in a series-opening loss, rolled through the same bunch to clinch the Angels’ first win since July 13.
They also kept Kansas City from winning four consecutive games for the first time this season.
Angel Zerpa (2-1) allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk before departing with a right knee injury in the fourth inning. His bullpen didn’t do him any favors, in particular Wyatt Mills, who hit a batter with the bases loaded to push across a run and wound up allowing three runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batters.
Zerpa had mostly kept the Angels in check in his recall from Double-A Northwest Arkansas, the only damage on Ohtani’s 420-foot shot to center field in the third inning. It was his sixth homer in 17 career games against Kansas City.
Then in the fifth, Zerpa was attempting to run down a grounder down the line when he reached to glove the ball and flip to first. Zerpa wound up making an awkward movement that caused him some knee pain and, after trying to make a couple of warmup pitches, departed with runners on the corners and nobody out.
It looked as though the Angels might squander their chance, especially when Michael A. Taylor ran down a shallow fly off Ohtani’s bat. But then Amir Garrett unloaded a wild pitch that allowed Phil Gosselin to score for a 2-0 lead.
The Royals’ best chance off Suarez came in the sixth, when Nicky Lopez was hit by a pitch and they eventually loaded the bases. Jose Quijada entered and got a force out at home before getting Vinnie Pasquantino on an inning-ending fly out.
The Angels pushed across three runs in the seventh before Stassi’s 422-foot homer in the ninth.
Royals RHP Jackson Kowar was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Zerpa on the roster.
Angels: CF Mike Trout (rib inflammation) still has not done any baseball work, interim manager Phil Nevin said. Trout had a cortisone shot last week and was eligible to come off the injured list Monday.
Royals: SS Bobby Witt Jr. (hamstring) hit in the cage before the game but was out of the lineup for the second straight night.. … C Salvador Perez (thumb surgery) went 3 for 4 in his first rehab game Tuesday night at Omaha.
The Angels are recalling RHP Janson Junk (0-0, 0.00 ERA) from Triple-A Salt Lake for his second big league appearance and first start this season in Wednesday’s finale. RHP Brad Keller (5-10, 4.16) is getting the nod for Kansas City.
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