Pujols' homer lifts Angels past Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Albert Pujols knocked in the winning runs in the Los Angeles Angels' 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Park with a no-doubt three-run homer off reliever Jeremy Jeffress in the eighth inning.
It was Pujols' third homer of the season and the three RBIs vaulted him past Rafael Palmeiro and Ken Griffey Jr. into 15th on the major league career RBI list.
The Rangers (10-13) worked around Mike Trout, who homered in the sixth, with a walk to bring Pujols up with one out. The Angels made the Rangers pay.
The Angels scored all six of their runs via home runs.
Yunel Escobar crushed the first pitch of the game from Nick Martinez, 438 feet into left-center field to give the Angels a 1-0 lead before most of the crowd at Globe Life Field had a chance to reach their seats.
Martinez settled down immediately after misplacing the curveball that Escobar displaced over the visiting bullpen, facing just one over the minimum number of hitters in the next four innings.
The Rangers responded with a hot start from the top of their lineup as well. Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus singled sharply into center field to start the bottom of the first, but the threat was stymied somewhat when Andrus was put out at second on what would have been a wild pitch had Angels catcher Martin Maldonado not stayed with the bouncer out to his left and fired a strike to second base for the second out.
With DeShields on third, Carlos Gomez hit the team's first sacrifice fly of the season on a moon shot to shallow center field. Trout's throw home was cut off as DeShields came home to tie the score at 1-1.
Martinez struck out six through five innings, but the Rangers' offense didn't really threaten again until the bottom of the fifth, when Ryan Rua lined a double into the corner in left field with one out. Joey Gallo struck out and Jonathan Lucroy flied out to right to end the inning.
Rua's double was the only extra-base hit off Los Angeles starter Tyler Skaggs, who carried just a 1-4 record and a 4.44 ERA into Friday's game.
The Rangers answered Trout's two-run homer in the sixth with another single from DeShields and a double from Andrus in the bottom of the inning to bring Texas within 3-2.
Mike Napoli, who came in Friday batting just .150, brought home Andrus to tie the score 3-3 on a single to left.
Protecting a three-run lead, Angels lefty reliever Jose Alvarez posted the first save of his career.