Albert Pujols and Ian Kinsler each hit two-run home runs early in the game and 21-year-old rookie right-hander Jaime Barria took it from there in the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Pujols connected off the Rangers’ 45-year-old starter Bartolo Colon in the first inning with two out and Mike Trout on second base. In the second inning, Kinsler also homered with two out, Luis Valbuena scoring ahead of him for an early 4-0 Angels lead.
Colon, who won a Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, was in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system in 1996 — one year away from making his major league debut — when Barria was born.
But on this night, youth trumped experience as Barria continued to impress in his first big league season, improving to 5-1 in seven starts. He’s also made four starts for Triple-A Salt Lake this season.
Barria threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out six and making 89 pitches.
The difference in age — 23 years, 55 days — is the largest between two starting pitchers in any game in Angels history. The previous record of 22 years, 108 days, also involved a matchup with a Rangers pitcher when Nolan Ryan (46) and Angels hurler Phil Leftwich (24) matched up in 1993.
The Rangers’ biggest threat against Barria came in the second when they had runners on second and third with two out. But Barria struck out Ronald Guzman to end the threat.
The Angels tacked on two more runs against Colon in the third inning, getting three hits, including an RBI single by Andrelton Simmons. Martin Maldonado drove in the second run with an RBI groundout.
Colon (2-3) was finished after three innings, having given up six runs on eight hits and one walk. He struck out four.
The Angels finished with 11 hits, including two each from Trout and Pujols. The Angels also enjoyed the recent resurgence of Kinsler, who went 1-for-5 and has now hit in five straight, going 10-for-19 during that stretch.
—Field Level Media