Albert Pujols delivers in moment made for Angels slugger
JUL 09, 2014 11:03p ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Certain moments were made for Albert Pujols, and this was one of them.
The Angels were losing by one run, but they had a runner on base and Pujols coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday afternoon.
As he has done so many times, Pujols delivered. His two-run homer bounced off the top of the center field fence and proved to be the difference in the Angels' 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium.
"He's been hitting the hell out of the ball this whole homestand," starting pitcher C.J. Wilson said. "It seems like he got two or three hits every game, and today he got a huge one.
"That's why he's here. He's got that kind of presence in the box when he steps up with the game on the line. We all felt like, this is Albert's situation."
It was -- and it was another milestone in his career. The homer was the 512th in his big league career, tying him with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 21st place on the all-time list. Next up: Willie McCovey, Ted Williams and Frank Thomas with 521.
Not that Pujols focuses on those kinds of achievements.
"At the end of my career, I'm going to look back and see what I've done," he said. "It's hard for me to just get caught up because I'm not a guy that gets caught up in numbers. I respect this game too much, and I believe if you try to get caught up you'll forget what you're supposed to do and that's to help this organization win a championship."
After two seasons of falling short since the signing of Pujols, the Angels are finally playing with a resolve. The victory was their 53rd and gave them a 6-1 record on their homestand with four games remaining at Texas before the four-day All-Star break.
Pujols, who has 25 RBI in his past 25 games, was 2 for 4 against Toronto and has 20 home runs this season, the ninth time in his career he has hit that many before the break. Over the past six games, he's hitting .480 (12 for 25) with eight RBI.
Wednesday's blast erased a 7-6 Blue Jays lead, although the ball almost didn't make it over the wall. Center fielder Colby Rasmus reached out, but the ball eluded his glove and bounced off the top of the wall.
"I hit that ball really good," Pujols said. "I was surprised how close it was. A day game, the ball normally plays pretty fair. Night game, probably it would've been off the wall maybe on a fly ball to center. But (a) day game the ball jumps a little bit better."
It jumped enough to win the game and give the Angels their 12th win in 13 home games.
"Albert's home run in the seventh is as big as we've seen so far," manager Mike Scioscia said. "These guys are fighting hard, they playing with everything they have. Some guys are tired on that field, but it's a great comeback win for us."