Pujols’ 2 HRs, 3 RBIs to help Angels beat Orioles 7-2
BALTIMORE (AP) — Now in his 19th major league season, Albert Pujols still has the power and bat speed to hit a baseball a very long way.
Even at age 39, Pujols can carry an offense pretty much by himself.
“Others contributed, but Albert was the key contributor tonight,” manager Brad Ausmus said.
Pujols hit a two-run drive in the first inning and a solo shot in the fourth. He also singled and scored in a three-run sixth that made it 6-2.
“One of the best right-handed hitters of all time, right?” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He is who he is because of what he did today.”
Both home runs came against Dylan Bundy (1-5), who has yielded 11 long balls this season after serving up a major league-high 41 last year. Baltimore has allowed 83 homers, 19 more than any other big league team.
“Yeah, he got me twice today. You can’t make a mistake to him and I missed my spot on both pitches,” Bundy lamented. “Just a little bit on the first one. But the second one, I just lost command there and missed my spot by about a foot-and-a-half.”
Pujols has played in 35 games this year and has eight homers and 21 RBIs batting in the middle of the order.
“I have played well all season long,” he said. “Been putting a good swing on the ball for month-and-a-half right now.”
It was the 59th multihomer game of Pujols’ career, the first since last July 12 against Seattle.
The slugger is 19 home runs short of matching Willie Mays for fifth on the career list. His 2,003 RBIs rank third behind Alex Rodriguez (2,086) and Hank Aaron (2,297), and his three hits gave him 3,110 — tied for 21st with Dave Winfield.
Shohei Ohtani had two hits and an RBI for Los Angeles in his fifth game this season. He’s 4 for 21 since returning from the injured list following elbow surgery.
Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
The last three innings were played in the rain before only a small portion of the announced crowd of 21,106.
Despite going 0 for 3 with a walk, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is 17 for 58 (.293) with four homers and 14 RBIs in 20 games since starting the season 0 for 33. “I just think he’s got confidence now and is in a way better mindset to hit on a nightly basis,” Hyde said.
Davis said: “I feel like I’ve made strides in the right direction really the last couple of weeks. … Just really trying to see the ball and let it travel and put a good swing on it.”
In a move involving right-handed relievers coming and going from Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles optioned Evan Phillips and recalled Jimmy Yacabonis. “We just felt like it was a good time for Evan to go down and work on a couple things,” Hyde said of Phillips, who gave up two runs on Friday night and has a 7.11 ERA.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (left elbow inflammation) is expected to make the second of three planned rehab starts in the next few days. … Despite having four hits Friday night and owning a .390 lifetime batting average against Baltimore, Andrelton Simmons was rested until the eighth inning by Ausmus.
Orioles: LHP Richard Bleier (shoulder tendinitis) threw a shutout inning for Double-A Bowie on Friday and backed it up with a one-inning stint Saturday. He could be ready to join the team in a week or two, Hyde said. … RHP Nate Karns (forearm tightness) is still a week to 810 days away from throwing.
Angels: After earning his first career major league victory Tuesday in Detroit, rookie right-hander Griffin Canning (1-0, 4.66 ERA) seeks an encore in the series finale Sunday.
Orioles: Rookie John Means (4-3, 2.48) makes his sixth start of his career, the first against the Angels. The right-hander and Andrew Cashner have collectively accounted for more than half of Baltimore’s wins.