Jered Weaver tossed eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball and struck out 10 and the Angels scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 5-0 victory over the Royals on Friday in the season opener for both teams.
The teams combined for just seven hits over the first 7 1/2 innings, but the Angels tallied three straight singles off reliever Aaron Crow (0-1) to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
Peter Bourjos fell behind new pitcher Greg Holland 0-2 but sent a dribbler toward shortstop Alcides Escobar, who bobbled the ball slightly as the Angels scored the first run.
Erick Aybar then broke the game open, lacing a three-run triple down the right-field line to give the Angels a 4-0 lead before Torii Hunter added an RBI single to account for the final score.
Albert Pujols made his regular-season debut for the Angels and finished 0- for-3 with a walk, while Weaver (1-0) improved to 3-1 in opening day starts.
Kansas City starter Bruce Chen allowed just three hits in six innings, but was lifted in the seventh for Crow. Jeff Francoeur had the only extra-base hit for the Royals, who finished 20 games below .500 at 71-91 last season.
Kansas City got it’s best opportunity to score in the third, as Brayan Pena and Escobar each stroked singles to start the frame, but Weaver struck out the next three batters to escape the inning.
No one else reached base for the Royals until Francoeur smoked a one-out double over the outstretched glove of third baseman Mark Trumbo, but Weaver caught Francoeur leaning off second and picked him off to quell the threat.
Crow entered to face the heart of the Angels lineup to start the seventh and the righty punched out Kendrick, Pujols and Hunter before running into trouble in the bottom of the eighth.