Albert Pujols homered twice, and Mike Trout and David Freese also went deep for the Los Angeles Angels in a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, extending their winning streak to five games.
Pujols extended the Angels’ lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning with a solo shot to left off rookie Alex Colome, then hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Andrew Bellatti to end the scoring. It was his 13th this season and 533rd of his career, one shy of Jimmie Foxx for 17th place all-time.
The three-time NL MVP, who has homered in four of his last five games, has 1,117 extra-base hits for his career – tying Foxx and Ted Williams for 16th in that department.
The Angels have 13 homers in their last five games, five coming in an 8-6 win over Detroit on Saturday during their four-game sweep of the Tigers.
Garrett Richards (5-3) allowed three runs, six hits and three walks over six innings and struck out four. He was 4-0 with a 1.05 ERA in five starts last June en route to a 13-4 record, but his season ended 5 1-2 weeks prematurely after he tore a ligament in his left knee covering first base in a game at Boston.
Colome (3-2) gave up five runs, nine hits and three homers in six innings. The 26-year-old right-hander had allowed four home runs in his six previous starts this season – all in an 11-5 home loss to the Yankees on May 11.
Tampa Bay’s Nick Franklin snapped an 0-for-25 drought in the fourth inning with a two-run homer that sliced the Angels’ lead to 4-3. It was the switch-hitter’s first hit of the season batting left-handed, after an 0-for-20 start against righties. Franklin missed the Rays’ first 38 games with an oblique strain before returning to the lineup on May 17.
Franklin was one of only three players in the Rays’ lineup who had faced Richards before Monday, along with Evan Longoria and David DeJesus. The right-hander has given up a home run in each of his last three starts, after allowing only one through his first six.
The Angels opened the scoring in the second inning when Freese led off with his ninth homer, one shy of his total in 462 at-bats last season.
Tampa Bay rookie Joey Butler, coming off a four-hit game Sunday at Baltimore, tied it in the third with an RBI single. But Trout responded in the bottom half with his team-high 13th homer after Johnny Giavotella and Erick Aybar opened the inning with singles.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2014, is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Wednesday for Class-A Charlotte, after throwing live batting practice twice and two more times in extended spring training games.
Angels: RHP Mike Morin, whose stint on the DL with an oblique strain has created a ripple in the bullpen, is expected to begin playing catch late this week.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (5-4) won both of his starts last season against the Angels in matchups against Jered Weaver and Tuesday’s mound opponent, C.J. Wilson. Last Wednesday, Archer pitched eight innings of two-hit ball in his duel with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and wound up with a no-decision in Tampa Bay’s 3-0 loss.
Angels: Wilson (3-3) has a 3.12 ERA after eight starts, the left-hander’s second-lowest at this stage of a season since becoming a full-time starter in 2010 with the Texas Rangers. That year, it was 2.55 through his first eight outings.