TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -Torii Hunter hit his first two homers of spring, Hideki Matsui connected for the first time and Mike Napoli for his fifth, and the Los Angeles Angels beat a split squad of Kansas City Royals 8-6 on Wednesday using what will likely be their opening day lineup.
``This is a lineup you'll see at some point in the season,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``This is a lineup we're excited about. These next eight to 10 days we'll get a little idea of the continuity in the workings. If we don't juggle it from here it's a lineup that makes sense.'
The lineup Wednesday had Erick Aybar batting leadoff hitter and Brandon Wood starting at third base, with Maicer Izturis in a utility role.
The loss of Chone Figgins to Seattle via free agency left the leadoff spot and third base open. Izturis figured to compete with Aybar for the leadoff spot and was a candidate to start at third.
Bobby Abreu hit second followed by Hunter, Matsui, Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera with Howie Kendrick, Napoli and Wood making up the bottom third of the order.
Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro allowed five hits and a walk in five scoreless innings, his fourth spring start.
In his last outing against Milwaukee, Pineiro rebounded from a rough start to allow five hits and two earned runs over four innings.
Royals starter Brian Bannister allowed six hits and five runs over four innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
``I was pretty down on myself because of the way I pitched to Torii,' Bannister said. ``I let Torii beat me. I gave him a couple of pitches to hit and, obviously, hes swinging the bat really well and he didnt miss them. That was pretty disappointing the way I pitched to him.
``This was a good test for me. Its going to be their opening-day lineup,' Bannister added.
In his previous start, Bannister threw four shutout innings and gave up only two hits to Arizona. He went 7-12 with a 4.73 ERA in 26 starts for the Royals in 2009 before was shut down in September with shoulder fatigue.
Hunter's second homer in the third inning traveled completely out of the ballpark in left-center field.
NOTES: Royals minor league left-hander Danny Duffy took a leave from baseball today. According to assistant general manager J. J. Picollo, ``Danny informed us yesterday that his desire is to leave baseball at this time to reassess his life priorities. Should Danny decide in the future to return to the game, we will be happy at that time to discuss the possibility.'
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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