Angels 3, Cubs 3(10)

Albert Pujols has been even more impressive than his new

teammates expected.

”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

field.

One problem – that was only the second out. Richards began to

follow Pujols.

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.