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Seth Lugo dominates with career-high 12 strikeouts over 8 innings in Royals’ 4-2 win over Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Seth Lugo racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts and allowed one run over eight strong innings, and Hunter Renfroe had a two-run single against his former team in the Kansas City Royals’ 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Freddie Fermin and Michael Massey also had RBIs during the Royals’ four-run fourth inning, and Lugo (6-1) made it stand up as Kansas City took three of four from the Angels.

Lugo allowed five hits while continuing his outstanding start to his first season with the Royals, winning for the AL-best sixth time in eight starts and lowering his ERA to an AL-best 1.66.

“To strike out 12 and only throw 112 pitches, that’s really remarkable,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Just the confidence that you have when he’s out there. He just comes out and it feels like he’s in total control all the time.”

Lugo overcame slight early control issues, retired 11 straight at one point, and didn’t walk a batter for the first time all season. The longtime Mets right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts for Kansas City.

“We were counting on him to be one of the top couple of starters we had,” Quatraro said. “What he’s done so far, I don’t think anybody can bank on that run of starts, but the way he’s done it is really impressive, and he hasn’t wavered. … I can’t even fathom having nine pitches to choose from, (and) the fact he uses them and they all do something and he can locate all of them.”

Willie Calhoun had an RBI double in the sixth and a solo homer in the ninth for the Halos, who have lost 17 of 23 with a major league-worst 14 players on the injured list.

Los Angeles has lost all six of its series at the Big A this season, failing to win consecutive home games at any point.

Patrick Sandoval (2-6) allowed 11 hits for Los Angeles, but pitched into the seventh inning and only allowed runs during the Royals’ fourth-inning rally. Sandoval has lost five of his last seven starts.

“The takeaway from his start is he should be pleased,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “One inning (was bad), and sometimes that happens to you. Sometimes you can recover, and sometimes not. You’ve got to give their pitching staff credit.”

The Royals got five consecutive hits to open the fourth inning. Renfroe, who batted .242 with 19 homers in 126 games for the Angels last season, drove in Nelson Velasquez and Fermin with his bases-loaded single before Massey drove in Dairon Blanco with a sacrifice bunt.

The Angels couldn’t get to Lugo until Mickey Moniak singled in the sixth and Calhoun drove him home.

Calhoun capped his three-hit game with his first homer for the Angels, a solo shot off James McArthur in the ninth. McArthur got two more outs to complete his ninth save.

UP NEXT

Royals: Brady Singer (3-1, 2.36 ERA) takes the mound in Seattle for the series opener on Monday.

Angels: Jose Soriano (1-4, 4.32 ERA) takes the mound in Anaheim on Monday for the opener of a three-game series with St. Louis.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

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