First baseman hits his first homer of the spring; center fielder hits his fourth
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Albert Pujols and Mike Trout both hit home runs and Jered Weaver pitched a strong 5 1/3 innings as the Angels defeated the Royals, 3-2, in Cactus League play on Thursday at Surprise Stadium. Jason Donald homered for the Royals.
Pujols and Trout connected against Royals starter Bruce Chen.
"I thought they were pretty decent pitches," Chen said. "I threw a curveball down to Pujols and he hit it strong into center field. And I threw a changeup down to Trout and he was still able to hit it to center field. That's where you want the guys to hit it -- to the biggest part of the ballpark -- so there was nothing else I could do. They're very good hitters."
Pujols belted his first home run of the spring, sending an 0-1 pitch sailing over the center-field wall in the first inning.
Chen churned through the next four innings without a mishap, but then, in the sixth, along came Trout. After Erick Aybar singled, Trout pounded a two-run homer, also to straightaway center field on an 0-1 pitch. It was Trout's fourth homer in the Cactus League.
After getting an out on his 71st pitch, Chen was excused for the afternoon. He gave up three runs, six hits and no walks in 5 1/3 innings. Wade Davis relieved him and got two quick outs.
The Royals got to Weaver, the Angels' presumed but unannounced Opening Day starter, with a run in their half of the first on Danny Valencia's double and Billy Butler's single.
However, after Butler's single, Weaver retired the next 13 batters in order. That streak was brought to an emphatic end when Donald lofted a home run over the left-field bullpen, his second of Spring Training.
Later in the sixth, Weaver hit Valencia with a pitch and both players left the game. Weaver was pulled because his work was done after 77 pitches, and Valencia left apparently with a hand injury inflicted by the pitch.
"Weaver got to a certain point in the game and got a good workout," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think he's where he needs to be. I think the one thing about [pitching coach Mike Butcher] starting these guys a little bit earlier is that you can have a day like today where Weave can go harder and just really get to a range where he was at 75, 80 pitches. He's ready to keep going and hopefully move forward to his first start."
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, hoping to win a bullpen spot, pitched a one-two-three seventh.
Up next:C.J. Wilson will make his fifth start of the spring when the Angels host the Royals' split squad and right-hander Aaron Brooks at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday (watch on MLB.TV). Wilson, who will make his second-to-last start before taking the ball against the Mariners on April 1, has a 2.81 ERA in 16 Cactus League innings. Game time is 1:05 p.m. PT.