Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas slides safety into second base with… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )
The good news for the Angels is that with Monday's off day, they can skip the fifth spot in the rotation, which, until Wednesday night, was held by Barry Enright, who opened the season at triple A and appears headed back there soon.
The bad news is they couldn't skip it Wednesday night. Enright got his second start in place of the sidelined Tommy Hanson and provided the fuel for a seven-run third inning that Kansas City rode to a 9-5 victory in Angel Stadium.
Billy Butler hit a two-run single and Lorenzo Cain had a three-run double to key the Royals third inning, as the Angels fell to 15-25 and 11 games behind Texas in the American League West, their largest deficit after 40 games since they were 12 games back at this stage of the 2001 season.
BOX SCORE: Royals 9, Angels 5
As much as an injury-ravaged Angels bullpen has struggled, the rotation has been worse. Starters have combined for a 9-19 record and 5.15 earned-run average.
It was only 1-0 in the third inning when Enright, much like he did in Chicago on Friday night, started working at a glacially slow pace, taking nearly 30 seconds between pitches as the Royals loaded the bases with no outs.
Tired of this act, Scioscia thought he'd minimize the damage by yanking Enright after 47 pitches, and it seemed like a smart, proactive move.
It didn't work out. Mark Lowe gave up Butler's two-run single and Cain's bases-loaded double, and the Royals were on their way.
The Angels made some noise, scoring in the third and fourth innings, twice in the sixth inning and once in the eighth on Mike Trout's home run.
But Erick Aybar grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the fourth, and Albert Pujols grounded into a double play in the fifth, giving the Angels a major league-leading 45 double-play grounders.
Easy does it
Ryan Madson's rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery moved to the slow track, the Angels scrapping plans to activate the right-hander this weekend in favor of sending him to triple-A Salt Lake for "a couple of weeks," Madson said.
"I wanted to get back as soon as possible, but they want to slow me down, get more games in," said Madson, who has had several setbacks since Feb. 1. "They don't want me going out too early and getting hurt. I respect the decision. It shows they care."
Madson, who threw a scoreless inning for Class-A Inland Empire on Monday, will report Thursday to Salt Lake, where he can work at a more deliberate pace.
"Ryan is very close — he has enough stuff to pitch in the major leagues," Scioscia said. "Now, he just needs to fine tune things, the command, pitching with guys on base, and seeing how he bounces back.
"I don't know if it's going to take a couple weeks. It might or it might not. We want this rehab to stick."
Reliever Sean Burnett, shut down for a week after receiving an injection in his sore forearm May 6, is scheduled to begin throwing off a mound today. … There is still no timetable for the return of Hanson, who is on the restricted list while he copes with the death of his 24-year-old stepbrother, but Scioscia said the right-hander has been throwing regularly.