Infante’s slam sends Royals to 8-6 win over Angels

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Omar Infante told Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar that on a muggy night at Kauffman Stadium, with a stiff breeze blowing out to left field, any ball hit solidly would clear the fence.

Infante never predicted that he’d hit one with the bases loaded.

The veteran capped a seven-run inning with his first career grand slam Friday, and Kansas City held on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-6 on a rough night for starting pitchers.

“There was a lot of wind,” Infante said. “I just wanted to make contact, do something.”

The grand slam in the third gave the Royals a 7-2 lead, and they tacked on one more run the next inning. Then, after starter Jason Vargas gave up four runs in the fifth, the Kansas City bullpen twirled five scoreless innings to preserve the victory.

Michael Mariot (1-0) picked up his first career win with 1 1-3 innings of relief, and Greg Holland earned his 23rd save by tossing a perfect ninth.

“We just knew that with Vargas going four innings, we needed to piece it together,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Mariot did a phenomenal job.”

Lorenzo Cain, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon each drove in a run for Kansas City, which ended the Angels’ six-game winning streak after limping into the series having lost six of seven.

Vargas and Angels counterpart Matt Shoemaker (5-2) combined to give up 14 runs on 20 hits - four of them home runs - and neither got an out in the fifth.

“It was definitely not fun,” Shoemaker said. “It’s going to make me tougher, not that I wasn’t, but you learn from it. The third inning was a long inning. There were a lot of runs.”

C.J. Cron hit two homers for Los Angeles, and Mike Trout sent a shot to center in the first inning that cleared the fence, four rows of seats and a walkway before landing in a fountain.

“I squared it up. I definitely barreled it,” Trout said. “I was trying to put a good swing on it and got a pitch I could hit. I’m always looking fastball and reacted. I got a heater.”

Trout’s mammoth drive only counted for one run, though.

It was going to take more than that to win, with the ball carrying so well.

Cron added a homer to left with two outs in the second inning, but Kansas City quickly erased its two-run deficit in the third by matching its biggest inning of the season.

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