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.