Angels' Pujols hits 537th homer in win over Rays to pass Mantle
Albert Pujols' home runs these days come with a baseball history lesson.
Pujols hit his 537th home run Thursday night to move ahead of Mickey Mantle into 16th place on the career list, and Mike Trout also homered for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Pujols' 17th home run of the season, which came in the ninth inning off Preston Guilmet, was his 1,122nd extra-base hit, tying Manny Ramirez for 14th place in that category. The 35-year-old first baseman has 1,635 RBIs, one short of Ernie Banks who is 29th on the all-time list.
"We hear about Mickey Mantle again; (Pujols) tied him and now he's ahead of him," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "Every time he hits one, it's fun to follow the names that keep coming into the conversation."
Pujols' homer was his ninth in 13 games.
"I'm catching more breaks, I guess," he said. "I've been swinging the bat well all year long and if you stay with that approach, sooner or later they're going to fall. I'm not going out there and trying to hit a home run every time, just trying to put on a good swing and let the rest take care of itself."
Trout drove in two runs with his 17th home run and a double. The homer, his sixth in 11 games, drove in the Angels' first run off Rays starter Alex Colome. Trout's two-out double off Brad Boxberger drove in another run in the seventh after rookie Kyle Kubitza's single had given Los Angeles its first lead of the game, 3-2.
The Angels had 14 hits in winning for only the second time in eight games.
"We had great at-bats one through nine," said Trout. "It was fun to watch, fun to be a part of it. That's how we need to be every night."
Garrett Richards (6-4) pitched seven innings for the Angels, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out seven.
Former Angel Kevin Jepsen (1-4) took the loss after giving up three runs in the decisive seventh. The Rays' bullpen gave up five runs 3 2-3 innings.
"(We) brought our guys in and it just didn't work out tonight. We'll still take those chances anytime we get them with our bullpen. We have a ton of confidence in them."
Steven Souza Jr.'s 12th home run gave the Rays a 2-0 lead in the second. That score stood until Trout's homer in the sixth.
Colome gave up one run and four hits while striking out four in 5 1-3 innings.
Angels: 1B C.J. Cron's left hand was sore after being struck by a pitch Wednesday night. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly began sock tossing Thursday, the first step in his return from a torn labrum. Smyly is not eligible to come off the DL until July 5 and might miss the rest of the season.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (4-3) will face Oakland in the opener of a five-game homestand Friday night.
Rays: RHP Matt Andriese, called up from the minors last Thursday, will start Friday night's home game against the Chicago White Sox.
RAYS ROSTER MOVES
The Rays optioned Guilmet and designated C Bobby Wilson for assignment after Thursday night's game and placed RHP Andrew Bellatti on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 10. They recalled Andriese and LHPs Enny Romero and C.J. Riefenhauser.
DANCIN' WITH A STAR
Singer-actress Paula Abdul made a series of dance moves toward the plate before throwing the ceremonial first pitch. She was at the game as the goodwill ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.