Pujols passes Bonds for 3rd in RBIs as Angels top Royals 7-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Albert Pujols opened the weekend by passing Lou Gehrig on the career RBIs list and ended it by moving past Barry Bonds.
He pulled a fastball from Homer Bailey (2-3) just past third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez. Pujols has 1,997 RBIs and trails only Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) in RBIs, which became an official statistic in 1920.
Pujols did not speak with reporters after the game.
“He’s had an unbelievable career,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “He continues to add onto it.”
Matt Harvey (1-2) got his first win with the Angels, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings.
“I thought he picked up where he left off in his last inning of his last outing,” Ausmus said. “He was aggressive. He attacked the hitters. His stuff was good. He threw some really good changeups and curveballs.”
Harvey lowered his ERA from 8.03 to 6.54 as the Angels won a road series for the first time this season.
“The big thing was putting together a decent start from the last outing. I was trying to keep that going. The thought crept into my head early this morning,” Harvey said. “I used that as energy to stay focused and keep my attention. I wasn’t striking out the world, but the guys were making plays behind me. I knew, especially with the wind blowing in, that I could attack the zone.”
The key pitches for Harvey were improved changeups and curveballs. Pitching coach Doug White has cautioned Harvey not to overuse his slider.
“For him to stay on me about the changeup and the curveball and going through the drills we do in between starts has been huge,” Harvey said.
Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, who faced Harvey in the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets, said the 30-year-old right-hander “kind of looked like the Matt Harvey of old.”
Bailey gave up six hits to his first 13 batters and retired his final 10. He allowed four runs in six innings as the Royals dropped to an AL-worst 9-19.
“I thought Homer didn’t have his best stuff today, but really grinded it out, really competed and really battled through it to get us six good innings,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.
Tommy LaStella’s RBI groundout in the first and Andrelton Simmons‘ RBI single in the third boosted the lead to 4-0.
“Soft singles, but singles nonetheless,” Bailey said. “Then Albert’s ball, if that’s 6 inches the other way it’s a double play. That’s just the way it goes with good hitters.”
Kansas City scored in the fourth without a hit when Alex Gordon reached on a wild pitch as he struck out, advanced on a walk, took third on a flyout and came home on Jorge Soler’s sacrifice fly.
Angels: OF/RHP Shohei Ohtani continues to improve in his return from Tommy John surgery, taking batting practice each day. Manager Brad Ausmus would not say when he might be ready to hit in a game.
Royals: OF Billy Hamilton was out of the lineup with right hamstring tightness, a day after leaving in the fifth inning.
Angels: Los Angeles plans to bring up top pitching prospect Griffin Canning to start Tuesday at Toronto in his major league debut. The 22-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA at Salt Lake, allowing one earned run in 16 innings with 17 strikeouts and two walks. “I think we’ve always liked the stuff,” manager Brad Aumus said. “There’s been a little caution because of the limited time in the professional ranks, and of course, the pitch count, which we addressed by sending him to Arizona to get up to 90 pitches.”
Royals: RHP Brad Keller (2-2) starts Monday against Tampa Bay after serving a five-game suspension for hitting Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox with a pitch April 17.