Angels 7, Royals 4 …
The Angels used a solid return from Kendrys Morales and continued solid production from Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick to beat the Royals despite a shaky Jered Weaver outing.
Well, Morales of course. The recovering slugger played in a game for the first time in nearly 22 months and played well while batting sixth as the designated hitter. Morales singled twice — once from each side of the plate — but his most encouraging sign was motoring from first on a Bobby Abreu double to slide into third safely.
Erick Aybar (3-for-3) and Howie Kendrick (2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs) stayed red hot while batting in front of Albert Pujols in the lineup. Aybar is now hitting .436 this spring, and Kendrick is at an even .500.
Abreu doubled on a well-placed line drive to the opposite field.
Vernon Wells went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Three veteran relievers — Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi and Jason Isringhausen — each had scoreless outings. Takahashi pitched two shutout innings and has yet to allow a run in six Cactus League innings.
Weaver gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk in a 4 2/3-inning outing, bringing his Cactus League ERA to 5.84. Weaver wasn’t stressing it afterwards, though (and why would he?). He said he was just working on fastball command.
Daily Pujols update: 1-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI and a double on a ball that landed just below the “420” sign in straightaway center field.
Morales, speaking in Spanish on whether he feels he has cleared all the necessary mental hurdles: “Yeah, I think so. We’ve all been waiting for me to get back and play a game 100 percent. We accomplished that today, and we’re expecting everything to be normal from here on out.”
Best play (that I saw)
Royals center field Lorenzo Cain hit a bomb off Weaver in the second inning, one that traveled way over the 340-foot fence in left field and cleared the general-admission lawn-seating area at Tempe Diablo Stadium.