For the first seven innings of Friday night's season opener against the visiting Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Angels did not really look like the instant playoff threat many had hoped and perhaps assumed they would be. The Angels were shut down by Royals starter Bruce Chen before exploding for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to key RBI hits by Peter Bourjos and Erick Aybar, the latter of which was a bases-clearing, three-run triple. Torii Hunter would bring Aybar home with a single and those five eight-inning runs would end up being the entirety of the scoring, as the Angels started the season with a 5-0 win.
The big story of the night, of course, was the regular season debut of new Angels slugger Albert Pujols. Pujols was greeting with rousing ovations in each of his four plate appearances, but ended up hitless. He lined into a double play in his first at-bat, struck out once and was intentionally walked in his final appearance in the big eighth inning.
Ace Jered Weaver was the bright spot for the Halos until the runs finally came, allowing only four hits on no runs in eight innings while striking out 10. Weaver and Scott Downs combined for the shutout.