Kansas City Royals No. 4 prospect Jackson Kowar didn't have the best of debuts as the Royals drop the first game of their California road trip 8-3 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Kansas City loses its third-straight game and falls to 29-29 on the season while Los Angeles improves to 28-32.
Here are three things I took away from tonight's game.
Jackson Kowar was nervous.
It was clear from the jump that the nerves were present for Kowar. It's not the big league debut we all imagined for one of the organization's top prospects but it could possibly be the debut he needed. Kowar is coming off a stretch in Triple-A where he dominated. In six minor league starts, the 24-year-old recorded a 0.85 ERA and 41 strikeouts. Things were much different tonight as he got a big serving of humble pie. Kowar has the stuff to be up in the bigs, but his command was clearly impacted by his nerves. I would bet Kowar doesn't look like this in his next outing.
Ervin Santana is a veteran.
If it wasn't clear already, Ervin Santana has been around the block and he's seen almost everything. He wasn't phased coming into the game with only two outs recorded in the first inning. Santana just came in and did what he was supposed to do. The 38-year-old went four full innings in relief of Kowar where he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four. After Kowar's less-than-ideal start, Santana did all he could.
Is Hunter Dozier back?
Putting an end to an 0-for-12 stretch, right fielder Hunter Dozier seemed to show a flash of his 2019 self. Dozier went 3-for-4 tonight with two doubles an RBI and his first hit to right field this year. While it's easy to overreact from game to game, it was encouraging to see Dozier have a good day at the plate. It not only benefits the team — when everyone else is firing on all cylinders — but it also helps his confidence, which might be the push that Dozier needs to get back to his usual form.