ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) For Albert Pujols, the home runs keep coming and the records keep falling.
The Angels slugger hit a three-run homer Tuesday night, the 610th of his career, snapping his tie for eighth on the career list with Sammy Sosa to become baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Los Angeles also got a three-run homer from Kaleb Cowart, pummeling the Texas Rangers 10-1 to keep the Angels a half-game back of the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card.
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Pujols’ record home run was his 19th of the season.
”It’s pretty special,” Pujols said. ”Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Los Angeles righty Ricky Nolasco allowed a run over 4 2/3 innings, and Keynan Middleton (5-1) followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 13 games and pounded out 16 hits Tuesday. Cowart’s home run came in the fifth to give the Angels a 6-1 lead. It was his third home run of the season.
”We had a really good offensive game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”Even starting off where we left some ducks on the pond, but we came back and really got some clutch hits.”
The Rangers got nine hits but left 10 runners on base.
”We managed some baserunners, but kind of that nemesis of ours, the offense gets tough for us and we’re incapable of coming up with the big hit,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Pujols hit his homer in the seventh against right-hander Nick Gardewine, who was making his major league debut. The three runs were unearned because of an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus.
ROSS IN JEOPARDY
In his three starts since coming off the disabled list following rib surgery, Ross has posted a 5.93 ERA and could be pitching himself out of the Texas rotation. The Rangers fell three games back of Minnesota for the last AL wild card.
”Obviously, we’re in a situation where we have to get some quality starts,” Banister said. ”That’s where we’re at. We’ll sit down and put our heads together and evaluate where we’re at.”
PUJOLS STILL IMPRESSES
As impressive as his power numbers are, the Angels are almost equally impressed with his work ethic.
”He’s accomplished so much, I think at some point he’ll reflect on it,” Scioscia said. ”He passes great names every time he hits a home run.
”But right now I think Albert is just consumed with helping us win. He has great pride to go out there every day and play hard. He understands his numbers, even though he never chases them. He just plays. And that’s what makes him special.”
Rangers: Placed INF/OF Joey Gallo on the seven-day concussion list. Gallo suffered the injury and a broken nose in a collision with RHP Matt Bush chasing a pop-up on Sunday. He is tied for second in the AL in home runs with 35. He was replaced on the roster by INF Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Round Rock.
Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) did a full workout and is scheduled to have another Wednesday before a possible rehab assignment. He last played on Aug. 6. . OF Ben Revere left the game after fouling a ball off his left day. It was bruised and the Angels called him day-to-day.
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (7-9, 3.31 ERA) looks to continue his turnaround in the third of four games against the Angels. He has gone 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA over his last seven starts. He has not face the Angels since 2015.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (0-0, 9.00) is scheduled to make his second start of the season and first at home since April 5, 2016, when he suffered the injury that led to Tommy John surgery. Allowed five runs in five innings in his first start back against Baltimore.
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