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Angels erase seven-run deficit in 11-8 win over Royals

Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger hit consecutive home runs in the second inning, Albert Pujols has four hits and three RBIs and Erick Aybar raises his spring average to .411 with four hits.

March 29, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales, right, is congratulated by third baseman Mark Trumbo after hitting a home run in the second inning against the Royals on Thursday.
Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales, right, is congratulated by… (Paul Connors / Associated…)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels flexed some serious offensive muscle Thursday, pounding 20 hits, including consecutive second-inning home runs by Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger, in an 11-8 exhibition victory over the Kansas City Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Albert Pujols had four hits, including a double, and drove in three runs to improve his spring average to .388 (19 for 49), and leadoff batter Erick Aybar had three singles in four at-bats to improve his spring average to .411 (23 for 56).

The Royals took a 7-0 lead off Angels starter Eric Hurley with five runs in the first, which featured Jeff Francoeur’s three-run homer and Yuniesky Betancourt’s solo shot, and Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer off the batter’s eye above the center-field wall in the second.

But the Angels, who did not have the kind of offense to erase such deficits in 2010 and 2011, showed that things could be different in 2012.

With one out in the second inning, Morales, who is hitting .625 (10 for 16) this spring, lined a home run to left, his second since he began exhibition play last week and his first from the right side. Trumbo followed with a homer off the scoreboard in right-center, and Conger then homered to left.

Everett Teaford’s next pitch hit Peter Bourjos, which raised the ire of the Angels center fielder and those in the Angels dugout.

“I don’t think any of us liked that,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “Our guy was getting knocked around in the first inning, and we didn’t throw at anybody. You try to make better pitches. It was something that was uncalled for."

Teaford acknowledged he was trying to come in on Bourjos, but he said there was no “malicious intent” to hit him with the pitch.

“He’s on top of the plate to begin with, and I feel he even kind of leaned into it some,” Teaford said of Bourjos. “It went straight to the backstop, so it wasn’t like I squared him up in the back. I guess they don’t like to be pitched up and in. That’s part of the game sometimes. I wasn’t trying to hit him in the head. They were mad. Sorry, I guess, but not really sorry.

“They were on to my pitches. I’m not going to lie about that. I’m not just going to sit out there and get my butt kicked. I’m going to fight back a little bit.”

After Bourjos reached, Howie Kendrick singled with two outs, Pujols hit a run-scoring double to left, and Kendrick scored on an error to make it 7-5.

The Angels then bunched five consecutive hits to score four runs in the fourth: singles by Aybar, Kendrick and Pujols (RBI), Torii Hunter’s two-run double and Vernon Wells’ RBI double.

Left-hander Scott Downs, right-hander Jason Isringhausen and closer Jordan Walden each threw one-two-three innings.

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Angels erase seven-run deficit in 11-8 win over Royals

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