April 13, 2018 / 3:41 AM / 2 months ago

Ohtani flashes speed as Angels rout Royals

EditorsNote: Fixes Maurer’ name

Nick Tropeano threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his first major league start in nearly two years to help lift the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Angels’ offense continued to batter opposing pitchers, getting 15 hits, and a new wrinkle showed in Shohei Ohtani’s game — speed.

Ian Kinsler homered in the first inning, but the game-breaking blow came in the seventh on a three-run triple by Ohtani. He was timed at 11.49 seconds to third base, the fifth fastest time in the majors this year. It also turned a tight 3-0 game into 6-0.

It was just Kinsler’s second game of the season, with the veteran second baseman straining a muscle in his thigh March 30. So he made up for lost time, hitting the second pitch of the game from Royals starter Ian Kennedy over the fence in left for his first home run as an Angel.

Kinsler, 35, was acquired by the Angels in an offseason trade with the Tigers for two minor leaguers.

For Tropeano, it was his first major league start since July 18, 2016, with the right-hander out the past 21 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday and replaced Jaime Barria, who was the winning pitcher in his major league debut against the Rangers on Wednesday.

Tropeano was efficient, getting through six innings on 76 pitches. And when the Royals threatened, Tropeano worked his way out of it. Kansas City was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position against him.

He got the first two outs in the seventh but allowed a double to Ryan Goins and a walk to Alcides Escobar before being replaced by reliever Jim Johnson.

Tropeano (1-0) gave up six hits, walked two and struck out six while making 88 pitches.

Kennedy was almost as good for Kansas City, giving up only the Kinsler homer and nothing else through six innings. But in the seventh, the Angels gave themselves some breathing room.

Los Angeles had four hits in the inning against Royals reliever Blaine Boyer, including a two-run single by Kole Calhoun that made it 3-0. Then Ohtani put the finishing touches on the inning — and the game — with a bases-loaded triple off Brandon Maurer to make it 6-0.

Mike Trout had three hits for the Angels, including his team-leading fifth homer of the season. Justin Upton also had three hits for Los Angeles.

Lucas Duda’s RBI single in the eighth scored Kansas City’s only run of the game, and Goins had three of the Royals’ nine hits.

The Angels have won five in a row and at 11-3 have matched the best record in franchise history through 14 games (1979).

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