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Published: Monday, 3/12/2012

Angels pound Indians split squad

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Los Angeles Angels’ potent offense could be getting even better soon.

Vernon Wells and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive homers in Los Angeles’ six-run fifth inning and the Angels finished with 20 hits in a 17-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday in a matchup of split squads.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Kendrys Morales might make his spring debut this week and he expects the first-baseman-designated hitter to “absolutely” be ready for opening day.

Morales ran the bases Sunday morning and Scioscia said though there are “still some hurdles” to his recovery, “these are things that, just the quick-twitch movements you’re going to do in a game, reacting, you can only get those through playing. That’s why it’s important for him to get out there and play and just get a guy to where he is.”

Morales hit 34 homers and drove in 108 runs in a breakthrough 2009 season in which he finished fifth in the America League MVP voting. He had 11 homers and 39 RBI in 51 games the following season before breaking his ankle as he and teammates celebrated his game-ending grand-slam at home plate. He hasn’t played since.

Howie Kendrick and Trumbo had three hits each against the Indians and Wells had two hits and five RBIs. Albert Pujos drove in a run and scored twice.

Right-hander Garrett Richards, vying for the No. 5 spot in the Angels’ rotation, gave up three hits in three scoreless innings in his second spring start. He could be the favorite to win the spot since Jerome Williams has not been able to pitch with a strained hamstring.

“I’m trying not to think too much about it,” Richards said. “I can’t control it.”

Richards said he has been working on new things while trying to impress the coaching staff, one of them being trying not to tip his pitches, something he said he had done in his first start in New York last Aug. 10. He allowed six earned runs in five innings that game.

Richards finished 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in seven appearances last year, including three starts.

Indians starter David Huff allowed five runs, four earned, and seven hits in three innings in his third spring appearance. Travis Hafner hit his first spring homer off Angels reliever Scott Downs in the fourth.



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