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Sloppy Angels fall to Royals and Mariners

If spring training records counted for anything, Thursday would have been a lost day for the Angels, who dropped split-squad games to the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, and Seattle Mariners, 10-5.

But this time of year, success is measured in ways other than just wins and losses.

For Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro, for example, Thursday was a good day even through his team lost the game he started against the Royals in Tempe, Ariz. Pineiro needed just 50 pitches to get through four innings in which he allowed one run on four hits, striking out two.

And with Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo and Tyson Auer collecting two hits each, the Angels led 3-2 going into the eighth. But Loek Van Mil couldn't hold the advantage, giving up a pair of one-out runs in his Angels debut. One of those runs was unearned thanks to one of two errors the Angels made in the game. Kansas City also scored an unearned run in the seventh.

Like Pineiro, Rich Thompson was also impressive on the mound, striking out two batters to escape a fifth-inning jam in which the Royals had two runners in scoring position with one out.

At the Mariners' spring training home in Peoria, Ariz., Matt Palmer, who has been battling respiratory problems all spring, gave up two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. Ryan Chaffee had an even worse day, but through no fault of his own.

The Mariners scored seven times against Chaffee in the fifth, but he allowed just two hits. The Angels contributed mightily to the rally, making three infield errors that paved the way for six unearned runs.

Peter Bourjos had three hits in that game, driving in two runs and raising his average to .364, while nonroster catcher Kevin Richardson homered in his only at-bat.

-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.

 
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