Pujols hits 2 homers to help Angels beat Rays 6-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Albert Pujols hit a pair of solo homers against David Price, and Matt Shoemaker took a shutout into the seventh inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Sunday.
Pujols drove an 0-2 pitch over the center-field fence in the first inning. The three-time NL MVP increased the Angels' advantage to 6-2 in the seventh with his 12th homer this season and the 504th of his career, tying Eddie Murray for 25th place.
Price became the 319th pitcher Pujols has homered off during the regular season.
Shoemaker (2-1) was charged with a run and two hits in six-plus innings. He struck out six, five days after earning his first major league win with a 4-3 victory at Philadelphia. The 27-year-old right-hander was lifted after issuing his third walk, to James Loney leading off the seventh.
Michael Morin relieved Shoemaker with a 5-0 lead and retired his first batter before Kevin Kiermaier hit his first big league homer - a drive to left that kept carrying until it disappeared in the lower seats in the left-field corner. That ended a career-opening streak of nine scoreless innings by Morin.
Price (4-4) gave up six runs - five earned - and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He beat the Mariners 2-1 last Tuesday at Seattle with a complete game.
The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, who has allowed no more than one walk in a franchise-record 13 consecutive starts dating to last season, went to a three-ball count on five Angels batters. But he's paid the price for his major league-best strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's given up 78 hits, tying Philadelphia's Cliff Lee for most in the majors.
Howie Kendrick gave the Angels a 2-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the third, and they increased the margin to 5-0 with three runs in the fourth after Price gave up three straight singles with none out. The third one was a drive by Grant Green over the head of left fielder Matt Joyce, scoring Erick Aybar.
NOTES: Price has allowed at least one home run in eight of his first 10 starts and 11 homers altogether, after giving up just two in his final 83 1-3 innings last season. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon has gotten at least seven innings from his starters in only two of the team's last 25 games - and Price was the pitcher both times. ... Price has allowed five homers on an 0-2 count in his career, and Pujols has hit 21 under those circumstances. ... Price caught Cowgill, Mike Trout and Kendrick looking at third strikes in the first inning. Two seasons ago, Price led the majors with 84 called third strikes. ... Despite C.J. Wilson's five-hit shutout on Saturday, the Angels have a 4.52 ERA at home compared to a 2.88 ERA on the road. ... Longoria, the only player on the Rays' roster to start all 45 games, slammed his bat in disgust after chasing a low pitch for an inning-ending strikeout with two on in the third. ... Rays C Ryan Hanigan missed his second straight game because of a cramp in his right hamstring. ... Kiermaier, starting in CF for the third time in the big leagues, robbed Aybar of extra bases in the second with a leaping catch while crashing against the 18-foot wall in right-center. ... Pujols has 48 multihomer games and two this season.