Royals shut out Angels; Vin Mazzaro lowers ERA from 17.47 to 10.80

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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.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.