The Los Angeles Angels scored all of their runs in the first four innings, cruising to a 12-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif. However, there was more than enough drama to keep the fans in their seats for the entire game.
It had to do with Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and his quest for 3,000 career hits.
Pujols entered the game two short of the magic number, and he got hit No. 2,999 with a double in the second inning. With a chance for 3,000, Pujols was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, popped out to first base in the sixth and flied out to right field in the eighth.
Pujols finished the night 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run, a modest performance on a night the Angels’ offense exploded for 15 hits. Luis Valbuena and Justin Upton each had three hits, while Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons each had two.
They did most of their damage against Orioles starter Chris Tillman (1-5), who gave up seven runs on seven hits and one walk in one-plus inning.
Angels starter Jaime Barria, called up from Triple-A Salt Lake for the game, did not allow a hit until Trey Mancini singled with one out in the sixth. Barria (2-1) gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out two.
The Angels set the tone for the game with a five-run first inning. Ian Kinsler led off with a walk and scored on a triple by Trout. Upton followed with an RBI double, and one out later, Ohtani, Simmons and Valbuena strung together three consecutive RBI hits to make it 5-0.
Trout had an RBI single and Pujols a two-run double in the second inning for an 8-0 Angels lead.
The win completed a three-game sweep for the Angels (19-12), who moved into first place in the American League West, percentage points ahead of the Houston Astros. The Orioles fell to 8-23, the worst record in the AL.
—Field Level Media