Angels 7, Orioles 3
Add Camden Yards to the expansive list of stadiums that can't contain the masterful bat of Albert Pujols.
Pujols homered in his first game in Baltimore, C.J. Wilson allowed one run in seven innings, and the Los Angeles Angels had a season-high 17 hits in a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
Held hitless by the Orioles during a three-game series on the West Coast in April, Pujols promptly doubled in his first at-bat against Brian Matusz. Then, in the fifth inning, the slugger ripped a 1-0 pitch into the inviting left-field seats to stake the Angels to a 3-0 lead.
Pujols has now homered in 33 ballparks off 282 different pitchers.
''It's just a testament to what a career he's had,'' teammate Mark Trumbo said. ''He sure didn't wait very long. Best hitter in this era.''
If Pujols was impressed with the feat, he apparently had no desire to talk about it. Long after the game ended, he still hadn't arrived at his locker.
Los Angeles finished with a season-high four homers. Peter Bourjos, Trumbo and John Hester also connected for the Angels, who have won 12 of 16 overall and 12 of their last 13 road games.
''This park is always been a park where the ball flies,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''In this park you just have to put it in your mind there are going to be home runs. It's a nice offensive park.''
It hasn't been that way lately for the Orioles, who were held in check by Wilson (9-4). The left-hander gave up six hits, struck out two and walked two to improve to 5-0 in seven starts since May 18. Wilson has a 1.30 ERA over that span.
''My sinker was great the first couple of innings and then just checked out of the hotel. It was going to Toronto I guess,'' he joked. ''We had to adjust on the fly.''
Steve Pearce and Wilson Betemit homered for the Orioles, who have lost five of seven. Baltimore has scored a total of 11 runs over those seven games. The Orioles went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 41 in that situation over their last eight games.
''You have to take the positive out of it. We keep getting ourselves into position, we just need to hit,'' center fielder Adam Jones said. ''We've left some guys on base, we had the opportunity to score more runs, and we didn't. But we had the opportunity. We have to bear down, get in scoring position and get that hit. It's not easy.''
Matusz (5-9) allowed five runs and a career-high 13 hits in five-plus innings. He has lost four straight starts, and on each occasion failed to get out of the sixth inning.
''It's been just a couple pitches here and there each game,'' the left-hander said. ''It's just being able to eliminate the mistakes and get back on track.''
Pujols hit his team-high 18th double with two outs in the first inning but was stranded. In the second, Los Angeles had runners at second and third with two outs before Hester hit a fly ball to the warning track in left.
The Angels broke through in the third, going up 1-0 when Mike Trout led off with a double and scored on a single by Torii Hunter.
After going hitless over the first three innings, Baltimore used two singles and a stolen base to put runners at the corners with one out in the fourth. The next two batters, however, failed to hit the ball out of the infield.
Pujols homered in the fifth after Hunter singled. Pearce connected in the bottom half, the first homer off Wilson in eight starts since May 12, but Baltimore couldn't add on after getting runners to second and third with one out.
Bourjos chased Matusz in the sixth with a two-run drive, and Trumbo hit a shot in the seventh off Tommy Hunter that traveled an estimated 448 feet.
NOTES: Pujols has 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 38 games since May 15. ... Hester finished with a career-best three hits. Howie Kendrick also had three hits. ... Jones stole third base in the fourth inning, Baltimore's first steal in 18 games since June 5. ... In the series finale Wednesday, the Angels will send Jered Weaver (7-1) to the mound and the Orioles will start Jason Hammel, who's 4-0 at home and 8-2 overall. ... Los Angeles is 35-19 since a 6-14 start. ... Aybar extended his hitting streak to 11 games.