Matt Harvey seems to be finding his groove.
Harvey, who signed an $11 million, one-year deal with the Angels in the offseason, pitched two-run ball for five innings, and Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had two hits each as Los Angeles beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 Friday night.
“The offspeed pitches were working well, and I could keep them off balance with the curveball,” said Harvey, who has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. “It was probably the best that’s been all year. Pretty consistent in the zone and was able to bounce a few when I needed to. Working that in was definitely the key tonight.”
The Angels opened a nine-game homestand with a win after dropping three of four.
The Royals have lost three in a row and five of six.
Harvey (2-3) retired eight of his first nine batters and didn’t give up a hit until the third inning. He struck out six, allowed four hits and walked four in five-plus innings. He issued back-to-back walks to start the sixth, and his night was done.
The bullpen did its job, as four relievers combined for four scoreless innings.
Harvey faced runners on the corners after a two-out walk in the fourth but got Martin Maldonado to fly out to right field.
Hansel Robles earned his fifth save. He got hit on the inside of his left foot on a comebacker by Chris Owings to lead off the ninth. He was looked at by a trainer and manager Brad Ausmus but stayed in the game.
Pujols made a diving play at first base to get Owings out on a bang-bang play before he slid headfirst into first base.
Pujols passed Alex Rodriguez for 20th on the career hit list with 3,116.
Ryan O’Hearn hit a two-run single to left to pull the Royals within 4-2 in the sixth. The Royals had just six hits.
Kansas City had runners on the corners in the eighth inning against Cam Bedrosian after he got two outs to start the inning, but he got Maldonado to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Royals starter Brad Keller (2-5) continued to struggle with command and walked three during a three-run second. Keller allowed four earned runs on seven hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.
“He wasn’t yanking the ball as much,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Really, with five walks in the game, he had a couple of 0-2 mistakes for base hits, but all in all I thought he did a good job limiting the damage.”
Shohei Ohtani received a hearty welcome for his first home appearance since returning following Tommy John surgery. He was 1 for 4 with two strikeouts.
SKIPPING A START
The Royals recalled RHP Heath Fillmyer from Triple-A Omaha and optioned INF Kelvin Gutierrez. Yost is using a four-man rotation, skipping Jorge Lopez’s next start. With two off days next week, Yost said he wanted to keep starters on a five- or six-day rotation.
Angels: OF Kole Calhoun was reinstated from the paternity list. His second child, daughter Knox, was born Wednesday and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces … LHP Andrew Heaney (elbow) is expected to make his next rehab start Monday at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Royals: RHP Jakob Janis (3-4, 5.77 ERA) is 0-2 with a 8.10 ERA in two career games against the Angels. He last pitched at Angel Stadium in 2017.
Angels: RHP Griffin Canning (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will make his fourth career major league start. He suffered his first loss in his last start Sunday in Baltimore after allowing four earned runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
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