Big third inning spurs slugfest, comeback win
Hosmer's homer keys seven-run frame; Francoeur chips in with long solo shot
TEMPE, Ariz. -- C.J. Wilson gave up seven runs in a third inning he couldn't finish, and James Shields was charged with eight earned runs in five frames as the Royals beat the Angels, 13-9, in a Friday slugfest at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur each hit moon shots to straightaway center field off Wilson in the top of the third. Hosmer's homer came with two runners on. Francoeur's was a solo shot that cleared the 30-foot-tall batting eye, which sits behind a fence that's already 420 feet away from home plate.
"That was the furthest home run I've given up in a couple years," Wilson said, though he pointed out that the wind was blowing out to center field.
Wilson, who threw an extra 10 to 15 pitches in the bullpen after his 80-pitch, 2 2/3-inning outing, came in with a 3.60 ERA in 10 Cactus League innings. He has one start left before pitching the second game of the regular season on April 3 in Cincinnati.
"Spring Training, you have to take everything with a grain of salt," Wilson said. "The infield's a little bit harder, the ball travels really well, the adrenaline isn't quite there, so sometimes there's some funny circumstances that happen; you have these big innings and stuff like that. That's the first time I've really had a big inning [this spring]. I just look at it as part of the process."
The Angels' offense, one day after hitting four homers in a six-run fourth inning against the Rangers, hammered out seven runs against Shields in the first two frames.
Mike Trout, who notched two doubles and had a hard lineout, scored on a wild pitch just before Mark Trumbo hit an RBI double in the first inning. In the second, Trout hit a two-run double to center field, Josh Hamilton hit an opposite-field, two-run triple -- which Albert Pujols scored on from first base -- and Trumbo gave the Angels a 7-1 lead with an RBI single.
Shields gave up 11 hits and walked three in his shaky outing, putting his ERA at 7.90 in 13 2/3 innings this spring.
"To start the game off, my body felt great, but my direction to the plate was terrible," Shields said. "My rhythm wasn't there the first couple of innings; a little erratic. After the second inning, I felt like I settled down a little bit and honed in on my mechanics."
Shortstop Alcides Escobar had two hits and scored four runs, designated hitter Billy Butler had a couple of hits and drove in two runs and catcher Salvador Perez drove in three runs for the Royals (19-6-1), who cranked out 14 hits.
Angels non-roster reliever Fernando Cabrera, making his first appearance since pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, gave up a couple of runs in the sixth. Second baseman Howie Kendrick went 0-for-3, snapping his spring hitting streak at 16 games -- 21 games dating back to last year -- and putting his batting average at .490.
The Angels are now 6-15-4 in the Cactus League.
Up next: Ervin Santana, now set as the No. 2 starter in the Royals rotation, will start against the Diamondbacks at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday at Surprise Stadium. This launches the final seven days of the Cactus League for the Royals, although there will be eight games because of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader. Also scheduled to pitch are Tim Collins, plus three candidates for the final bullpen spot: J.C. Gutierrez, Dan Wheeler and Louis Coleman. The D-backs' probable starter is Randall Delgado.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read 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.