ANAHEIM, Calif. – After a brutal start to the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Angels seem to have found their footing. When Mike Trout’s strained calf was announced on May 18, the struggling Angels were thought to be done. However, his squad has torn it up recently without their three-time MVP; the Angels entered Wednesday’s matchup with the Royals winner of seven of their last 10 games.
The good times continued on Wednesday for the Angels (30-32) as they notched their 30th win of the season with a 6-1 victory over the Royals (29-31). It was an all-around performance from the Angels as the offense and the pitching staff tormented the Royals.
Griffin Canning (5-4) was terrific in his 6.2 innings of work, striking out six while giving up just one earned run. Meanwhile, the Angels offense was teeing off on Royals’ starter Brad Keller (6-5). They racked up 8 hits and 5 runs in Keller’s 5.1 innings of work.
The Angels continue to stay hot, grabbing their 11th win in their last 16 games. Meanwhile, the Royals up-and-down season continues as they get swept in their fifth straight loss.
Canning has the most strikeouts through 40 career games (208 Ks) in Angels history as he passes Matt Shoemaker. Royals’ manager Mike Matheny talked about what makes him so effective after the game.
“He mixes it up really well. He’s throwing behind in the count breaking-balls. He can throw his changeup at any time too. He has a lot of confidence and he’s very unpredictable,” said Matheny.
The Royals immediately looked to make things interesting as a single and two walks led to a bases-loaded opportunity. However, Canning pitched his way out of it, getting Brian Dozier to ground out and preserve the scoreless tie.
That scoreless tie held up until the bottom of the third inning, A Shohei Ohtani single set Anthony Rendon up with two runners on and two out. Rendon delivered, driving a fastball down in the zone off the right-field wall for a two-RBI double.
Gutierrez had a similar situation in the top of the fourth, as a Soler double put two runners on for him. He hit a chopper to third but reached for an RBI infield single to cut the deficit to one run. The Royals looked primed to tie the game with runners on the corners with one out, but Canning came through. A clutch three-pitch strikeout and a groundout back to Canning ended the Royals’ threat.
As Canning began to settle in, the Angels broke the game open in the sixth. A leadoff walk to Jared Walsh and a Max Stassi single put two runners aboard immediately. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners for Jose Iglesias, who picked up his 19th RBI of the year with a double to right. Kean Wong followed up Iglesias with a two-RBI single to push the lead to 5-1.
The Angels were able to grab another run in the eighth, while the bullpen shut down the Royals. Mike Mayers and Raisel Iglesias combined to throw 2.1 hitless innings in relief, sealing the victory.