Kendrys Morales faced big-league pitching for the first time in nearly… (Los Angeles Times )
Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. Kendrys Morales, facing major league competition for the first time in almost two years, singled twice in three at-bats in the Angels' 7-4 exhibition win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday in Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Morales had not played in a big league game since May 29, 2010, when he broke his left ankle jumping into home plate in celebration of a walk-off home run.
Hitting from the right side in his first at-bat, Morales grounded an opposite-field single to right field in the second inning and ran from first to third, with a slide into the bag, on Bobby Abreu's double down the left-field line.
After popping out to first in the third inning, Morales, batting from the left side, lined a single to center field in the fifth inning and was forced out at second--where he slid again--on Abreu's fielder's-choice grounder to first.
"You could see when I went from first to third that everything is good," Morales said through a translator. "I think that demonstrated that I can be 100% on the field. The batting part is a matter of timing."
Morales' two singles were part of a 15-hit attack that featured three singles by Erick Aybar, who is hitting .436 this spring; two hits, including a two-run triple, by Howie Kendrick, who is batting .500; and a two-run double by Chris Iannetta.
Angels ace Jered Weaver was not very sharp, allowing four runs and nine hits, including Lorenzo Cain's prodigious two-run homer to left field in the second, in 4 2/3 innings.
Weaver said he was "working on fastball command" and said that though "the results aren't there, the stuff felt good. It was a step in the right direction." Manager Mike Scioscia said the right-hander "is going through a little dead-arm phase right now."
Relievers Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi and Jason Isringhausen combined for four scoreless, two-hit innings.
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Kendrys Morales has two hits in in Angels' 7-4 win over Royals