José Rojas' first major league hit is one of few highlights in Angels' loss

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Jack Harris
·2 min read
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Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning delivers to a Kansas City Royals batter.
Angels starter Griffin Canning delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Royals on Wednesday in Kansas City. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press)

The Angels finished an injury-riddled trip with a 6-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, dropping their first series of the season to split the six-game swing.

“This was kind of an awkward road trip,” manager Joe Maddon said after his team fell to 7-5. “We had the opportunity to really have a great road trip, but it was adverse. The things that happened made it much more difficult.”

Here are three observations from Wednesday’s game.

More missed chances

The holes in the Angels' lineup — which was without Anthony Rendon (groin), Max Stassi (thumb), Justin Upton (back) and Juan Lagares (calf) — became apparent Wednesday, as the team matched its season-low in hits (six) and runs.

They squandered scoring opportunities in the third, coming up empty after loading the bases with one out, and the eighth, leaving runners on the corners. Their run came in the sixth, when Mike Trout singled and scored from first on a Jared Walsh double.

Canning solid in defeat

Griffin Canning took the loss despite giving up just two runs in five innings with five strikeouts. He leaned heavily on his slider and also mixed in some sharp changeups and curveballs.

His one big mistake came on a third-inning cutter that Salvador Perez hit for a home run, part of his eight-hit, four-RBI outburst in the series.

Rojas gets first hit

One Angels bright spot on Wednesday: Rookie José Rojas recorded his first MLB hit, snapping an 0-for-17 start to the season with a ninth-inning double into right-center field.

“Definitely felt like a slow-motion moment,” Rojas said. “Felt like a sigh of relief.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.