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Royals bludgeon Angels in 17-run outburst

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jeff Francoeur belted a home run, a triple and a double to drive in three runs as the Royals pummeled the Angels, 17-11, on Sunday in a Cactus League game at Surprise Stadium.

Billy Butler drove in four runs with three hits, and Chris Getz had three hits and two RBIs for the Royals. Albert Pujols belted his second home run in two days and was 2-for-2 with a walk for the Angels.

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The Royals boosted their record to 13-1-1, best in the Majors. The Angels meanwhile, are 3-10-1.

Francoeur raised his average from .259 to .323 (10-for-31).

"It felt good today," Francoeur said. "I've always said it from day one -- for me, spring is a 60 or 70 at-bat season. I never panic when you're not going good early. Ned [Yost, manager] was gracious enough to give me some DHs the last three, four days just to let me get at-bats, see pitches and get swings. I appreciate that, obviously, and I need that."

Pujols, playing in back-to-back games for the first time since his offseason right knee surgery, livened things up for the Angels. He not only hit his second homer -- a solo drive to left field off Bruce Chen -- he also singled and walked in two appearances against Royals starter Luke Hochevar. Pujols was granted a courtesy runner in his first two at-bats, but he didn't need one for the homer.

The Royals jumped on starter Tommy Hanson for five runs on seven hits in three innings, giving him a 10.80 ERA in four Cactus League starts.

"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," Hanson said. "They didn't hit my offspeed pitches. It wasn't like I was hanging those, it was just that when my fastball was up in the zone or thigh-high, they hit it good."

Hochevar, dueling Chen for the Royals' fifth starting job, gave up a two-run homer to Vernon Wells in the Angels' second. The blast to left field followed Alberto Callaspo's leadoff single. Hochevar was removed for Chen in the fourth after Hank Conger smacked a two-run homer to right field following a walk.

In his 3 1/3 innings, Hochevar gave up four runs on five hits and two walks. His ERA jumped to 6.75. Chen also proved vulnerable, giving up five runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up a solo homer to Trent Oeltjen.

Max Ramirez opened the Royals' second inning with a home run to left field, his second homer and his 10th RBI. Butler leads the team with 11 RBIs this spring.

Five runs, all charged to Ernesto Frieri, gave the Royals a 10-4 lead in the fifth inning. Francoeur's RBI double was among the five hits. Francoeur's home run off Michael Kohn launched the Royals' seven-run sixth.

Up next for Royals:The Royals will have their second day off of Spring Training on Monday. Ordinarily they take one day off during camp, but they have three open dates this year to accommodate the World Baseball Classic. When they return on Tuesday, James Shields will start against the Athletics at 3:05 p.m. CT at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Catcher Salvador Perez, back from the Classic, is expected to be in the lineup. Left-hander Everett Teaford will get his first Cactus League action after being delayed by a sore shoulder. He tuned up with a perfect inning in a Minor League game on Saturday. Also on the pitching list: closer Greg Holland and bullpen candidates J.C. Gutierrez, Donnie Joseph and Louis Coleman. The A's will counter with probable starter Tommy Milone.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals, Billy Butler, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jeff Francoeur, Chris Getz, Alex Gordon, George Kottaras, Max Ramirez