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Pujols homers but Angels lose to Royals 17-11

  • Associated Press
  • March 10, 2013 - 8:22 PM

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Albert Pujols homered for the second straight game, one of four shots by the Los Angeles Angels. On this day, that wasn't nearly enough.

Jeff Francoeur, Billy Butler and Chris Getz combined to get nine hits and drive in nine runs Sunday as the Kansas City Royals beat the Angels 17-11 to win for the 13th time in 14 games.

Pujols homered in the fifth off Bruce Chen. The star slugger, who had knee surgery in the offseason, also singled and walked. The Angels received permission from the Royals to use Matt Young as a courtesy runner.

"After he's seen some pitches, he's starting to feel a little more comfortable," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's what spring is about, just seeing some velocity and getting comfortable. He's definitely seeing it well right now."

The entire Royals team is seeing the ball extremely well.

After 20 hits Saturday to beat San Francisco, they got 18 against the Angels and top the majors with a .347 batting average.

Francoeur was a single shy of the cycle and drove in three runs. Butler doubled, singled twice and drove in four runs. Getz had three singles, scored two runs, stole a base and drove in a pair of runs.

"When you can do something like that it relaxes you," Francoeur said. "It's spring training, today doesn't mean anything, but confidence-wise, just to have a good day feels good. At the same time I know I've got a long ways to go to be where I want to be for opening day."

Francoeur joked that next time he is going to have Royals speedy outfielder Jarrod Dyson be his courtesy runner.

"It's one thing Pujols got a pinch runner, but it's another thing he gets the fastest guy maybe on the team besides (Mike) Trout to run for him," Francoeur said with a laugh. "I wondered after he homered if he was going to get stopped and have him to come out there."

Angels starter Tommy Hanson could not stop the Royals, giving up five runs on seven hits, including a homer by Max Ramirez. He went three innings and his ERA soared to 10.80.

"I made them look real good," Hanson said. "I didn't think I'd get knocked around the park, but I did make some mistakes and that's why they scored those runs."

"I know I'm going to keep saying this over and over and over, but fastball command is why I didn't do good today. 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."

Luke Hochevar picked up the win, but yielded four runs on five hits, including home runs to Vernon Wells and Hank Conger, and two walks in 3 1-3 innings.

"The one to Vernon Wells, I'm trying to go down and away with that pitch," Hochevar said. "It came back middle, middle. It was an aggressive pitch. He put a good swing on it. To Conger, that's a bad pitch, staying up."

Trent Oeltjen also homered for the Angels, who committed six errors that led to four unearned runs.

"Six errors," Scioscia said. "Even though our pitchers struggled to some extent, we opened it up for them a little bit."

NOTES: RHP Wade Davis, who was skipped a start Saturday with shoulder soreness, threw a bullpen and is penciled in to start Friday for the Royals if he has no setbacks. ... Angels LHP Brandon Sisk, acquired from the Royals for RHP Ervin Santana on Nov. 1, was sent to minor league camp. ... Scioscia was back in the dugout after missing Saturday's game against Colorado to return to Pennsylvania after a death in the family. ... The Royals, who had two games rained out Friday, have added a `B' game Tuesday against Texas to get more work for their pitchers.

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