Howie Kendrick launched his third home run of the spring, for three third-inning runs off Rockies starter Juan Nicasio, as the Angels led heading into the final frame.Kendrick improved his RBI total to 10. His homer came after singles by Bobby Wilson, playing for the first time since suffering tightness in his quadriceps in both legs March 10, and Erick Aybar.
Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana, whose last spring start was shortened because he took a line drive off the right shoulder in the second inning, held the Rockies to no runs on two hits and struck out four in four innings."Santana was really sharp," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He used all his pitches and had good fastball command, and great four innings for him. We're excited about that."
The Rockies scored in the sixth when Carlos Gonzalez raced home on a wild pitch by Jason Isringhausen, then Andrew Brown connected for his first spring homer in the eighth, setting the stage for the ninth-inning rally.
Nicasio went five innings and gave up all three of his runs and three of his five hits in the third inning. Nicasio, who has put himself solidly in the running for a rotation spot, finished with four strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.The Rockies started what could be their Opening Day lineup. The batting order included third baseman Casey Blake, who underwent neck surgery last year while with the Dodgers and had missed seven days with neck muscle soreness. Up next for Angels: C.J. Wilson will make his fourth Spring Training start when the Angels travel to Surprise, Ariz., to take on the Royals on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. PT. Wilson, who will oppose righty Felipe Paulino, has given up just one run on five hits in his first nine Cactus League frames, walking two and striking out four. Albert Pujols has traveled for back-to-back road games, so chances are he'd have the day off.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.