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Hochevar deals and Haren struggles as Angels fall to Royals, 6-3

Kansas City scores three runs in the first inning. Albert Pujols gets his first hit but is thrown out at the plate.

April 07, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels first baseman Albert Pujols argues with home plate umpire Bob Davidson that he was safe on a play at the plate against the Royals on Saturday afternoon in Anaheim.
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols argues with home plate umpire Bob Davidson… (Danny Moloshok / Associated…)

Luke Hochevar, who spurned the Dodgers twice after being drafted by them in 2002 and 2005, allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings Saturday to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 6-3 win over the Angels.

Hochevar, who signed with the Royals after being selected with the first pick of the 2006 draft, struck out four and walked two and completely outpitched his counterpart, Angels right-hander Dan Haren.

Haren seemed out of sync from the start, giving up consecutive one-out singles to Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur for two runs in the first inning and a leadoff double in the second to Humberto Quintero, who eventually scored on Cain’s sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.

Solo home runs by Hosmer in the fifth and Mike Moustakas in the sixth gave Kansas City a 5-0 lead, and Haren was pulled after Alcides Escobar reached on a one-out infield single in the sixth. Haren’s final line: 5 1/3 innings, 11 hits, five earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts. Of his 93 pitches, 60 were strikes.

After grounding into a double play to end the first inning, slugger Albert Pujols got his first hit as an Angel, doubling over the head of Gordon in left field with one out in the fourth.

Kendrys Morales followed with a single to left, but Pujols ran through third-base coach Dino Ebel’s stop sign and was thrown out trying to score. Pujols argued that his foot hit the plate before Quintero applied the tag, and replays seemed to support his case, but of course, umpire Bob Davidson’s call stood.

The Angels finally nicked Hochevar in the seventh when Morales and Torii Hunter singled with one out. Bobby Abreu followed with an RBI double to right off reliever Tim Collins, and Vernon Wells’ RBI groundout made it 5-2, but Alberto Callaspo struck out looking to end the inning.

The Royals added an insurance run in the eighth when Chris Getz led off with a double to left, stole third and scored when catcher Bobby Wilson’s throw sailed into left field for an error.

The Angels stirred in the ninth when Morales led off with a double to right-center, his fourth hit of the game, and Hunter reached on a bunt single. Abreu's sacrifice fly cut the deficit to 6-3, but Royals closer Jonathan Broxton got Wells to ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.

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Hochevar deals and Haren struggles as Angels fall to Royals, 6-3

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