video thumbnail

SEA@KC: Vargas gives up two runs over 8 2/3 innings

Jason Vargas takes on his former team on Friday in the series opener with the Angels.

Friday's opener marks the second straight series for the Royals against a California team, as Kansas City dropped two of three against the Dodgers earlier in the week.

Vargas spent 2013 with the Angels, providing a 4.02 ERA for the Halos, but injuries limited him to 24 starts.

Nearly halfway through this season, Vargas looks like one of the savvier offseason acquisitions in MLB. He has a 3.16 ERA in 108 1/3 innings (16 starts) with Kansas City.

Vargas is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Mariners last Saturday. He logged his longest outing of the season, allowing just two runs on 10 hits and zero walks in 8 2/3 innings.

"His strike-to-ball ratio was three-to-one. Very efficient," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Vargas, who threw 84 of 115 pitches for strikes. "He was really spotting his fastball well, spotting his changeup well and really good curveball all day long."

Vargas kept the game deadlocked at 1 until the ninth inning, when Dustin Ackley smacked a winning single to end Vargas' night.

This will be the second rematch between the Angels and Vargas -- he took a no-decision in a May 25 start at L.A. In that game, Vargas relinquished only one run in 6 1/3 innings, but he also issued a season-high five walks. The Royals lost, 4-3.

The Angels will trot out Matt Shoemaker on Friday. The 27-year-old has not lost a start in seven tries this season, but he was charged with a loss in a relief appearance against the Mets on April 12.

Shoemaker has put together two straight excellent starts -- Sunday against Texas (7 2/3 innings, one run, six strikeouts) and at Cleveland on June 17 (eight innings, two runs, 10 strikeouts).

Manager Mike Scioscia compared the young player to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

"He may be 10 miles an hour short [of Ryan], but he goes out with that attitude, with that makeup," Scioscia said. "He goes out with the idea of a gunslinger. 'I'm going to make my pitches and I'm very, very comfortable in what I need to do out there on the mound.'"

Royals: Davis finally falters
Royals setup man Wade Davis took the loss Wednesday in the team's 5-4 loss to the Dodgers, allowing his first run since April 23.

Davis' scoreless-innings streak had spanned 20 outings and 22 1/3 innings. It came to an end when Davis loaded the bases before hitting A.J. Ellis with a pitch to force in the decisive run.

"We're all human, man," said Royals starter James Shields. "It's going to be tough to not give up runs all year long. He's one of those guys that are so strong mentally and is such a bulldog out there, he's going to go back out in his next outing and do his job."

Angels: Hamilton held homerless
Josh Hamilton returned to the Majors on June 3, but his power has not arrived yet.

Hamilton has not homered since going yard in his first game back, a stretch of 20 games. He has only three home runs this season, which would equate to 17 in 162 games, Hamilton's lowest output since 2009.

"Home runs are just a product of good swings and squaring it up," Scioscia said. "I think that Josh is taking good swings and you're seeing him get a lot of big hits for us. He just hasn't hit the ball with the trajectory to get it out of the park in a while, but it'll be there. He's going to find that swing."

Hamilton sent two balls to the warning track on Wednesday, but both went down as simple flyouts to center.

Worth noting
• Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson clubbed his first home run of the season on Wednesday. It was his fourth career homer and first since June 23, 2013, and it traveled an estimated 404 feet.

• The Angels have won seven of their last eight games against Kansas City and their last five games at Kauffman Stadium.

• Erick Aybar is hitting .348 in his career against the Royals, the best in club history. Comments