Recap: Cards lose to Angels, Pujols in first trip to ‘Big A’

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Jered Weaver
earned his second win of an injury-plagued season with help from a
five-run second inning, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their
winning streak to seven games Tuesday night with a 5-1 victory over St.
Louis in the Cardinals’ first game at Angel Stadium.

St. Louis was the only National League
club that had never played at the “Big A,” having hosted the three
previous interleague series between the teams in 2002, 2007 and 2010.

Three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, who
spent his first 11 major league seasons with the Cardinals before
signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels in December
2011 as a free agent, played his first game against his former club and
was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk as the designated hitter
while Mark Trumbo started at first base.

The first time Pujols came up, he
tapped catcher Yadier Molina’s shin guard with his bat and Molina tapped
Pujols on the back of the helmet with his glove – a subtle but
meaningful display of affection and respect between two All-Stars who
were teammates for nine seasons and won two World Series rings together.
Pujols then struck out, and Molina threw out J.B. Shuck at second for
an inning-ending double play.

Weaver (2-4) allowed a run, six hits
and no walks over seven innings. He struck out five in his ninth start
of the year, working with runners on base in every inning but the
seventh.

The All-Star right-hander, who became a
20-game winner for the first time last year before a broken bone in his
non-pitching arm sidelined him for more than six weeks this season,
ended a streak of five winless starts that began after his 3-1 victory
against the Dodgers on May 29 at Angel Stadium – his first game back
from the injury.

The Cardinals loaded the bases in the
eighth against Kevin Jepsen. Scott Downs came in and struck out rookie
Matt Adams before finishing a spectacular 3-6-1 double play, after
Trumbo made a slick play in the hole on a hard-hit grounder by David
Freese.

Lance Lynn (10-3) gave up five runs
and nine hits in six innings, striking out eight. The 26-year-old
right-hander, coming off a 4-3 loss last Wednesday at Houston, has
dropped back-to-back outings for the first time in 1 1/2 big league
seasons spanning 48 starts.

The Angels sent 10 batters to the
plate in the second. Lynn gave up singles to six of his first seven
hitters, including run-scoring hits by Trumbo, Alberto Callaspo, Erick
Aybar and Shuck. Aybar scored when second baseman Matt Carpenter
misplayed Mike Trout’s grounder up the middle for an error with a chance
to force Shuck. Lynn ended the inning by striking out Pujols and Josh
Hamilton.

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday
was a late scratch because of tightness in his neck, hampering a lineup
that had averaged a league-best 7.04 runs of support for Lynn in his
other 16 starts this season. Molina was 2 for 4, raising his NL-leading
average to .347.

The Cardinals got on the board in the
fourth. Allen Craig reached on an infield single, was held up at third
on a double by Adams and scored on a groundout by Freese.

NOTES: A ceremonial first pitch was
thrown by Stan Musial’s grandson, Brian Schwarze, with Pujols as his
catcher. Musial, who died on Jan. 19 at age 92, was honored with a video
tribute following the first inning. “Stan was my buddy,” Pujols said.
“I wish I would have had more opportunities to talk to him. When he
walked into the clubhouse, it was like a light that was so bright. It
was amazing. Everybody would stop what they were doing.” … Shortly
after Pujols joined the Angels, he took offense to promotional
billboards put up throughout Southern California that heralded him as
“El Hombre” – or “The Man.” Pujols requested they be taken down, saying
that only Musial – whose moniker was “Stan The Man” – should ever be
referred to in that manner. … The Angels wore circular patches with
Musial’s name and No. 6 on the front of their jerseys, which they will
do throughout this series. The idea for the unique tribute came during
spring training. “It’s out of the respect that everyone in baseball has
for Stan Musial and his legacy, and obviously the connection with
Albert,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We wanted to honor a great person
and a great ballplayer in a very classy way, and we’re proud to wear
them.” … Former Angels Jim Edmonds, Scott Spiezio, David Eckstein and
Jeff Weaver all played significant roles for the Cardinals during their
2006 championship season. Eckstein was the World Series MVP, and Weaver
won the Series clincher against Detroit’s Justin Verlander. … The
Cardinals won five of the nine meetings between the teams in St. Louis.