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Royals beat sloppy Angels by a touchdown, 17-11

March 10, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Royals in the fifth inning Sunday afternoon.
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is congratulated by teammates after… (Gregory Bull / A\ssociated…)

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Good thing the Angels have another three weeks until their season opener. Based on the way the team played in Sunday's 17-11 loss to the Kansas City Royals, it has a lot of work to do before playing games that count.

The Angels committed six errors, leading to four unearned runs. But that was of little consolation to a pitching staff that has allowed more earned runs than any team in baseball this spring.

The Angels have given up seven or more runs 10 times in 16 games. Starter Tommy Hanson and reliever Ernesto Frieri did little to correct that Sunday, combining to allow 10 runs and 12 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Michael Kohn came out of the bullpen in the sixth to give up four runs -- three of them earned -- while getting just one out. The Angels used eight pitchers in as many innings and only one -- Kevin Johnson, who pitched the eighth -- retired the side in order.

That rendered moot a 15-hit day by Angels batters, including home runs by Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols, Hank Conger and Trent Oeltjen.

Pujols' fifth-inning solo shot was his second home run in as many days.

Hanson, meanwhile, blamed his struggles on lack of control.

“I know I’m going to keep saying this over and over and over and over, but fastball command is why I didn’t do good today," he said. "They didn’t hit my offspeed pitches. It wasn’t like I was hanging those. It was just when my fastball was up in the zone or thigh high, they hit it good."

Kansas City, which has lost only once in 15 games this spring, had 18 hits, including homers by Max Ramirez and Jeff Francoeur.

The home run was one of three hits on the day for Francoeur, who drove in three runs. Billy Butler went three for four with four RBIs and scored three times, and Chris Getz had three hits, two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base.

The Royals also were helped by a sloppy Angels defense. Conger, the catcher, make three throwing errors, and Scott Cousins, Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun all made fielding errors.

For the Angels, Pujols, Wells, Calhoun and Alberto Callaspo had two hits apiece; Conger and Wells each scored twice.

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