Los Angeles Angels Opening Day: Hunter, Mathis Homer, Lead Angels For The Win Against Royals 4-2

The Angels beat the Royals in seven out of 10 games last season.

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Hunter, Mathis Homer For The Angels, Win Against Royals 4-2

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Torii Hunter and Jeff Mathis homered to back a shut-down start by Jered Weaver, and the Angels held on to beat the Royals, 4-2, in their season opener.

Weaver (1-0) pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, in which he allowed only two hits and two walks. He took a no-hitter into the fourth inning and finished with six strikeouts.

"Weav gave us everything you could ask for, especially his first start of the season putting us that deep into a game," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "That really set the tone and we were fortunate at the end."

Erick Aybar added an RBI double for Los Angeles, which went 80-82 last year -- its first losing season since 2003.

On the other hand, 2003 was the last time Kansas City had a winning season, and the Royals enter 2011 trying to snap their streak of sub-.500 years.

They signed Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera in the offseason to help, and the moves paid off Thursday. Francoeur homered, while Cabrera went 3-for-4 with a walk.

Mike Aviles also homered for the Royals, but Luke Hochevar (0-1) gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.

"[Weaver will] probably win a Cy Young before it's all said and done," Francoeur said. "But we put up some decent at-bats. It's just one game."

After three scoreless innings, Hunter opened the fourth with a blast to center. Vernon Wells -- who the Angels acquired from Toronto in the offseason -- followed with a double, then scored on Aybar's double to right to make it a 2-0 game.

Mathis pulled a two-out solo shot to left in the sixth. Peter Bourjos followed with an infield single, then moved up two bases on errors by Hochevar and Chris Getz.

Maicer Izturis's base hit to center plated Bourjos, and that was all the lead the Angels required.

Hisanori Takahashi entered for Weaver with one down in the seventh and retired one batter, but then allowed Francoeur's homer and back-to-back singles by Alcides Escobar and Matt Treanor. However, Jordan Walden squelched the Royals' rally by striking out pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit.

Kansas City put together potential scoring chances in the following two innings, but couldn't get a big return.

Aviles opened the eighth with a homer off Kevin Jepsen for the Royals, who had the bases loaded with one out later in the inning. However, Michael Kohn struck out Francoeur and retired Escobar to keep it a 4-2 contest.

The Royals then had runners on the corners with two away in the ninth, but Fernando Rodney fanned Alex Gordon to secure the win and the save.

Game Notes

Both teams left 10 on base...The Angels' Dan Haren and Royals' Jeff Francis are set to start Friday's game...LA won the season series in 2010, 7-3. It has also won 10 of its last 12 in Kansas City.


Opening Day: Angels Vs. Royals Lineups

The Angels open their 2011 season today in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium facing the Royals. Jered Weaver is on the hill for the Angels, against Luke Hochevar for the Royals. Today's 1:10 p.m. game will be on Fox Sports West. Here are the lineups:


Maicer Izturis 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter RF
Vernon Wells LF
Erick Aybar SS
Mark Trumbo 1B
Jeff Mathis C
Peter Bourjos CF


Mike Aviles 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Alex Gordon LF
Billy Butler DH
Kila Ka'aihue 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Alcides Escobar SS
Matt Treanor C
Chris Getz 2B

For more Angels news and information on today's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Halos Heaven.


Los Angeles Angels Opening Day: Jered Weaver Faces Royals

The Los Angeles Angels look to begin their season on a high note, as opening day takes them to Kansas City to face the Royals. Jered Weaver gets the start for the Angels, hoping to pick up where he left off last season. Weaver was 13-12 last season with a 3.01 ERA in a career-high 224 1/3 innings, and he led the majors with 233 strikeouts. This is the third opening day start for Weaver.

Today's 1:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised on Fox Sports West. Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza are on the call.

The Angels open their season with six players on the disabled list, including Kendrys Morales, Scott Downs, and Joel Pineiro, although Pineiro is expected to be activated within a week or so. Filling in for Morales will be Mark Trumbo, who led the team in plate appearances, home runs (six) and RBI (20) during the spring, hitting .297/.316/.662. Trumbo hit 36 home runs for Triple A Salt Lake last season.

Luke Hochevar gets the start for the Royals, who lost 95 games last season and have lost 958 games over the last 10 seasons. The Angels won seven of 10 matchups with the Royals last season. Kansas City has newcomers Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur roaming the outfield, as placeholders waiting for baseball's best farm system to ripen.

For more Angels news and information on today's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Halos Heaven.

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