Cactus roundup: Pujols hits first spring homer

Pujols hits first homer of spring in Angels' loss to Padres; Rangers' Harrison scratched from start.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Albert Pujols hit his first spring training home run, a third-inning drive off Juan Nicasio on Saturday during the Los Angeles Angels' 8-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Pujols, coming off right knee surgery during the offseason, was 0 for 3 Tuesday against Cincinnati in his spring training debut. The three-time MVP again was the designated hitter against Colorado and went 1 for 3.

Pujols struck out in the first against Nicasio and also grounded into a double play in the fifth against Josh Outman.

Troy Tulowitzki hit his first home run of the exhibition season, a third-inning shot off Jason Vargas.

Making his second start, Vargas allowed four runs and eight hits in three innings. Nicasio, in his third start and fourth appearance, gave up four runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the seventh against Wilton Lopez.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Johnny Giavotella and Brett Hayes each drove in four runs, Yordano Ventura pitched three hitless innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 13-2 Saturday.

Billy Butler and David Lough each added three hits. The Royals finished with 20 hits, including nine in 1 2-3 innings against Giants starter Yusmeiro Petit.

Brandon Belt hit his fourth homer for the Giants.

Ventura, considered the Royals' top pitching prospect, made his first start of the spring and fourth appearance overall. He got this chance when Wade Davis was scratched with shoulder soreness, and extended his hitless streak to five innings. He walked two and struck out three.

Giants reliever Javier Lopez made his spring debut, allowing a run on three hits in one inning. He struck out two.     


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Adam Eaton had four hits and Aaron Hill had three, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks defeat the Chicago White Sox 11-9 Saturday.

Eric Chavez had three RBIs for the Diamondbacks, who piled up six runs and seven hits in the fourth inning. A.J Pollack had a home run and two RBIs.

Chicago's Paul Konerko went 2 for 3. He singled leading off the second against Brandon McCarthy, giving Konerko hits in seven consecutive at-bats, then lined out to center in the third. He hit a three-run homer against Matt Reynolds in the fifth.

Chicago's Matt Thornton was hit hard, giving up six runs and five hits in two-thirds of an inning. Tony Sipp pitched a scoreless inning for the victory.

Josh Bell hit a two-run homer in the second off McCarthy, who allowed four runs and seven hits in three innings. Danks gave up seven runs -- four earned -- seven hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.


PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Texas starter Matt Harrison was scratched because of an inflamed toe on his left foot, missing a Rangers' split squad's 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Neil Ramirez and Tanner Scheppers both pitched scoreless innings, starting a nine-pitcher six-hitter.

Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland sat out with a tight right quadriceps and is day to day.

Jim Adduci and Brandon Allen hit two-run homers for the Rangers, and Jeff Baker had three hits and an RBI.

Kyle Blanks had a two-run homer for the Padres and is hitting .393 (11 for 28).

San Diego starter Eric Stults allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in three innings, giving up Allen's homer.


GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Cesar Izturis boosted his chance to win a utility job on the Cincinnati Reds, hitting a sixth-inning home run off Travis Webb and an eighth-inning RBI single against Johnny Hellweg in the Cincinnati Reds' 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

Logan Schafer drove in two runs with a single and a double and Donnie Murphy hit three hits, including a double.

Schafer, a third-round pick by the Brewers in the 2008 amateur draft, is a candidate to make an opening-day roster that will be missing Corey Hart and Mat Gamel. Murphy is also in the mix for a utility spot and the first-base job.

Schedule to pitch three innings, Homer Bailey allowed three runs -- one earned -- and four hits in two innings. The Reds auditioned second baseman Henry Rodriguez and shortstop Jason Donald, and they failed to turn two ground balls into double plays, leading to the unearned runs.

On a day with wet conditions, Reds manager Dusty Baker gave most of his regulars the day off.

Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta allowed three runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.


MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Jason Kipnis hit his first home run of the spring and Cedric Hunter also connected, leading the Cleveland Indians over the Chicago Cubs 9-2 Saturday.

Kipnis came into the game hitting .227 with two RBIs. He led off the fourth with a home run against reliever Brooks Raley.

Hunter had three hits, including a three-run shot.

Indians starter David Huff went three innings in a bid to find a roster spot as the fifth starter or in the bullpen. The left-hander allowed four hits and two earned runs, striking out three.

Javier Baez, a 20-year-old Cubs shortstop, homered after David DeJesus doubled to open the game.

Cubs starter Chris Rusin was bumped back after Friday's rainout, but didn't show any ill effects as he threw three shutout innings.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Alex Castellanos hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Seattle Mariners 3-2 Saturday.

Castellanos hit his third homer this spring, connecting against Yoervis Medina.

Aaron Harang, competing for a spot in the Dodgers' rotation, allowed two runs and six hits in three innings. In five innings this spring, he has given up six runs on 11 hits.

Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run single off Harang.

Mariners right-hander Jon Garland worked three innings in his third appearance this spring, giving up one run on two hits.


SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Brad Snyder homered and Leonys Martin added an RBI single to help the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 Saturday.

Shane Peterson's two-run single gave Oakland a 3-2 lead in the seventh, but Snyder homered off Ryan Cook in the bottom half and pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro singled home Edwin Garcia with the go-ahead run.

Texas took a 2-0 lead in the second when Martin hit an RBI single that left fielder Yoenis Cespedes charged and overran for an error that also allowed A.J. Pierzynski to score.

Rangers starter Nick Tepesch allowed one run, three hits and two walks in three innings.

Oakland starter Dan Straily gave up two runs -- one earned -- three hits and a walk in three innings.

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