Albert Pujols hit three homers while the Angels swept a doubleheader from the Boston Red Sox on Monday, connecting twice and seizing the major league lead from Mike Trout during Los Angeles’ 7-3 victory in the nightcap.
Trout also homered and rookie Andrew Heaney pitched seven strong innings in the second game of the Angels’ first home doubleheader since 2003. Pujols, Kole Calhoun and David Freese homered during an 11-1 win in the first game.
Pujols homered in both games of a doubleheader for the first time in his career. He caught and passed Mike Schmidt for 15th place in baseball history, hitting his 549th career homer in the seventh.
Trout pulled even with Pujols with his 28th homer in the fifth, but Pujols nudged back ahead with his 29th.
The All-Star duo homered in the same game for the seventh time this year and the 24th time in their 3 1/2 seasons together.
Pujols drove in three runs in the nightcap, while Erick Aybar added two hits and two RBIs as AL West-leading Los Angeles (52-40) swept its four-game series with Boston despite the first rainout at Angel Stadium in 20 years Sunday. The Angels have won five straight and 15 of 18 overall.
Heaney (4-0) won his fourth straight decision in his first month with the Angels, yielding five hits without a walk.
David Ortiz posed at the plate when he hit a two-run homer in the sixth for the Red Sox, who were outscored 22-4 in the series. With its fifth straight defeat, Boston (42-51) dropped into a last-place tie with Seattle in the overall AL standings.
Aybar had a two-run single during a four-run third inning in the nightcap as the Angels consistently tagged knuckleballer Steven Wright (3-3), who yielded six hits and six runs in the Southern California native’s first appearance since June 20.
Pujols cracked his 547th homer during the Angels’ seven-run second inning in the opener. He reached the short left-field porch with a solo shot in the second inning of the nightcap, passing Ty Cobb for 12th place in baseball history with his 1,137th extra-base hit.
Pujols then drew a bases-loaded walk in the third as the Angels scored four times with just two hits, all with two outs.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia changed his mind about sitting out the nightcap to be cautious with his previously strained right hamstring. He went 0 for 2 with a walk in the opener, and he went 0 for 4 in the second game.
Angels: Reliever Cory Rasmus was added for the nightcap as the 26th player allowed in doubleheaders.