Neither rain nor snow can stop Angels as they beat Royals 5-3
By the end Saturday, they were playing Christmas carols, Kauffman Stadium having a sense of humor on a night when it was fair to question everyone else’s sense of judgment.
The Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 amid swirling snow and a dropping wind chill, this game in the fridge long before it was over.
“It brings me back to my high school days,” New Jersey native Mike Trout said. “We would have been snowed out, though. We wouldn’t have even played.”
Regardless, the Angels and Royals impressively pushed forward, particularly the Angels, who have won seven games in a row and are 13-3, the best record after 16 games in franchise history.
Despite the conditions — the wind chill put temperatures in the 20s — Trout hit his fourth home run in seven games and sixth overall, the most in the American League and a pace that has him approaching 60-plus for the season.
The two-run drive came in his third at-bat, which was good since by his fifth and final time up, Trout explained, the snow and wind made it nearly impossible to see.
“I was trying to do everything,” he said when asked how he attempted to stay warm while on defense. “I was talking to the fans. I was talking to J-Up [Justin Upton], looking at him shiver. It was a cold game, but we had fun.”
None of the previous 57 Angels teams won nine of 10 road games to start the season, either.
“A lot of things that are happening are things that are important to us,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We need to continue that and expand on that.”
The Angels have done all this without a healthy Ian Kinsler and with a rotation still struggling to find itself.
Garrett Richards was perfect through four innings Saturday — needing only 48 pitches — but then battled his control in the fifth inning, giving up a run and two walks and throwing three wild pitches.
Five relievers finished off, Jose Alvarez and Blake Wood maintaining their 0.00 ERAs, and Keynan Middleton working a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his fourth save.
Trout hit his home run 439 feet at least partially into a mist that was blowing sideways at the time.
No, it was not an ideal night for baseball in the heartland, an announced crowd of 15,876 clearly dying hard and freezing even harder.
The misting continued throughout much of the early part of the game until the seventh inning. That’s when the snow began.
Still, Trout wasn’t the only Angel to hit a home run, Luis Valbuena and Upton also producing as the visitors went deep three times against Jakob Junis, who had given up only four hits — all singles — in his first two starts combined.
Junis also had a perfect ERA entering Saturday in 14 innings, his 0.00 smudged by the Angels to 1.93.
“We got a pretty good team,” Richards said. “Every day we show up expecting to win, and right now we’re doing it.”
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