- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Albert Pujols was hitless in three at-bats during his spring training debut, and the Los Angeles Angels lost 6-1 on Sunday to the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

In his first at-bat, Pujols - who is coming back from offseason foot surgery - popped to shortstop with runners on first and third and one out. He hit into a double play his second time up, then grounded out in his final turn at the plate.

After Pujols underwent surgery on his right foot, there had been speculation he might not be ready for the start of the season. But he said Sunday he should be ready by then.

“I felt good at the plate. I felt I had good balance,” said Pujols, who acknowledged feeling “anxious” in his first start. “I felt strong in my leg and no pain at all.”

Pujols was the designated hitter, but said he is going through his first base drills without any problems and feels fine the next day.

For the Royals, Raul Mondesi drove in two runs with a bloop single in the fifth, an inning in which Kansas City stole three bases. Dusty Coleman tripled home a run in the seventh.

Alex Gordon went 1 for 3, and Lorenzo Cain was 0 for 3.

Mike Trout went 0 for 2 with a walk for the Angels.

The Royals got two shutout innings each from Dillon Gee and Chien-Ming Wang, and a scoreless inning apiece from Kelvin Herrera, Brian Flynn and Brooks Pounders.

“Our pitching was good all day,” manager Ned Yost said.

STARTING TIME

Royals: In his first spring start, right-hander Chris Young gave up three hits and one run in two innings. “Chris Young, a big guy, takes a little bit more time to get going,” Yost said. “But he threw well.”

Angels: Right-hander Nick Tropeano, who could start the season at Triple-A, retired all six batters he faced and struck out two.

OPENING DAY LINEUP?

The Angels rolled out a potential opening day lineup, with Daniel Nava hitting second and Kole Calhoun batting fifth, behind Trout and Pujols. Third baseman Yunel Escobar hit leadoff.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he views Nava as a potential table-setter in the 2-hole.

“It’s a lineup that we’ve talked about. We’ll see where it leads,” Scioscia said. “There’s a lot of different things that we’ll look at from now to the start of the season. But this is definitely one thing we wanted to look at.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: INF Omar Infante, coming off elbow surgery, could make his spring debut in the next couple of days.

Angels: Pujols ran cautiously on his two groundouts. “I’m just pacing myself until I get my foot and my leg stronger,” he said.

NEWS AND NOTES

The Angels have sent catcher Taylor Ward, their first-round draft pick last year, to minor league camp. . The game was the Angels’ first sellout this spring, with the attendance announced at 9,097.

UP NEXT

Royals: In a split-squad game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday in Mesa, Kris Medlen is scheduled to start vs. Jason Hammel. In the other game, against Oakland in Mesa, Kyle Zimmer is scheduled to start vs. Jesse Hahn.

Angels: In a split-squad game vs. the Chicago White Sox in Tempe, Hector Santiago is set to start vs. Erik Johnson. In the other game, against Cincinnati in Goodyear, Matt Shoemaker goes against Cody Reed. Pujols said he plans to play Monday in Tempe.

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