I’ll assume Vin Mazzaro is more upbeat about this one than his last start, when he gave up six runs in five innings and yet still lowered his ERA from 22.74 to 17.47.
Mazzaro pitched seven scoreless innings despite failing to strike out a batter Sunday as the Royals beat the Angels 9-0 to win two out of three games in Anaheim.
The Angels hit into five double plays in the contest. Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo all grounded into one, while Hank Conger had his line drive turned into another.
Blake Wood took over in relief of Mazzaro to start the eighth and fanned the first batter he faced, Andrew Romine. It was the Angels’ only strikeout of the game, making this the first shutout to feature just one strikeout since the A’s beat the Rangers 5-0 on Aug. 28, 2010.
The last shutout without a strikeout took place on May 17, 2006, when the Tigers beat the Twins 2-0. Justin Verlander went eight in that one before Todd Jones finished up.
Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 and pounded out his 20th double for the Royals. He drove in two. Billy Butler and Chris Getz both had two hits and two RBI apiece. Mike Moustakas, who hit his first big-league homer las tnight, went 1-for-4 with a walk.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.