Weaver off against KC, but bats pick up ace
Morales has two hits in return; Aybar, Kendrick pace offense
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kendrys Morales had two hits in his first Major League game since May 2010, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick stayed hot at the top of the order, and the Angels beat a split-squad Royals team, 7-4, despite a rough outing from Jered Weaver at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday.
Morales, who missed the last 1 1/2 seasons with a broken left ankle, made his Cactus League debut after playing in three Minor League games, batting sixth as the designated hitter.
The 28-year-old switch-hitter singled to right field and popped out to first base against Royals lefty Danny Duffy while batting from the right side in his first two plate appearances, then singled to center field from the left side off right-hander Sean O'Sullivan to finish 2-for-3.
Weaver, the Angels' likely Opening Day starter, gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings, bringing his Cactus League ERA to 5.84 in 12 1/3 frames. One of those hits was a long home run by Lorenzo Cain, who blasted a two-run shot over the lawn seating in left field to give him four homers in an impressive spring.
Each member of Kansas City's starting lineup, in fact, had at least one hit.
Duffy, who had given up two runs in five Cactus League frames coming in, was shelled for six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Aybar (3-for-3) and Kendrick (2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs) combined to go 5-for-5, and Albert Pujols -- batting .364 this spring -- doubled on a ball that landed just below the "420" sign in center field.
Up next: The Angels have day-night split-squad games on Friday, when they travel to face the Brewers in Phoenix at 1:05 p.m. PT, then the Indians in Goodyear at 7:05. At the Brewers' facility, Dan Haren will face Zack Greinke in hopes of keeping his scorching spring going. The 31-year-old right-hander has allowed just one run in 10 innings, walking one and striking out 15 in that span. Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker will start against the Indians, opposite Josh Tomlin, with Pujols and Morales expected to be in the lineup.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.