Angels 3, Cubs 3(10)
Albert Pujols has been even more impressive than his new
”He almost makes the game seem too easy,” Pitcher Garrett
Richards said after the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs tied
3-3 in 10 innings Saturday. ”They say he is a machine, and he is.
It is a reflection of his work ethic. He’s a competitor. He plays
this game to win.”
Pujols homered for the second straight day and sixth time this
spring on the first pitch he saw from left-hander Paul Maholm in
the first inning.
Richards, a right-hander who is making a bid for a job as the
Angels’ No. 5 starter, had a solid effort, giving up three runs –
two earned – in six innings.
Right-hander Jerome Williams, the other candidate for the No. 5
spot, gave up a run on three hits and struck out five in a minor
league game on Saturday.
”I feel good about how I pitched today, and for the entire
spring training,” said Richards, who was the Angels’ first-round
pick (42nd overall) in 2009. He pitched at Double-A Arkansas last
season before joining the Angels in mid-August.
”I wanted to push the envelope and make their (management)
decision hard. I’d like to think that I’ve done a good enough job
(for the No. 5 spot), but the ball is in their hands.”
In the fourth, Pujols made a backhanded stop of a grounder by
Ian Stewart, stepped on the first-base bag and began to run off the
One problem – that was only the second out. Richards began to
Richards said he realized the goof and opened his mouth to tell
Pujols, ”but the crowd already was letting us know.”
Pujols wrapped up his day with walk to lead off the sixth and is
hitting .407 this spring with six homers and 17 RBIs.
It probably was no surprise that he swung at the first pitch
from Maholm. Entering the game, Pujols was 22 of 39 (.564) lifetime
against Maholm with a pair of homers and eight RBIs when he was
with St. Louis and Maholm was with Pittsburgh.
”He’s paid pretty well to do that. He’s the reason I made sure
that an AL (American League) West team wasn’t on my list for free
agency,” Maholm said.
He kept the Angels off the board for the rest of his outing,
which covered 4 2-3 innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and
struck out six and lowered his spring ERA to 1.84.
The Cubs’ bullpen was efficient, particularly right-handers
Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol.
Wood retired the only batter he faced in the fifth inning, and
Marmol, the closer, pitched a hitless eighth.
NOTES: Mark Trumbo drove in the Angels other run with a double
in the sixth. … Bryan LaHair originally was scheduled to start at
first base for the Cubs but Blake DeWitt replaced him. No injury,
apparently just a day off. … Loek Van Mil, a 7-foot-1
right-hander from the Netherlands, gave up one hit in a scoreless
10th for the Angels. … Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos
celebrated his 25th birthday with a double and a stolen base. …
The Angels and Cubs will meet again for the second and final time
this spring on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz.