Pujols hits 2-run HR in 9th to give Angels 8-6 win over A's
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) With the score tied in the ninth inning, Albert Pujols simply relied on experience.
Pujols hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Los Angeles Angels an 8-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
''In a situation like that, you try to do a good job to get on base,'' Pujols said. ''I've had so many at-bats in that situation where, maybe earlier in my career, you try to do too much. But as I was getting older and learning from experience, I realized that if you just go out there and try to start a good swing and start a rally with a base hit or whatever, that's the main goal.''
Mike Trout had three hits and reached on a throwing error to start the ninth, diving headlong into first base to avoid a tag. Pujols also finished with three hits to go with three RBIs.
After his game-ending drive, Pujols slid feet first into home plate before a swarm of excited teammates helped tear off his jersey.
Jefry Marte and Cliff Pennington homered in the fourth for the Angels, who won for the 10th time in 12 home games and extended Oakland's losing streak to five.
Stephen Vogt tied it 6-all with an RBI single in the top of the ninth, but Mike Morin (2-1) relieved Cam Bedrosian and got pinch-hitter Danny Valencia to bounce into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
It was the second time the A's grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners in scoring position.
''Those were two key spots where we're talking about situational at-bats and getting an extra run, maybe two,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''Late in games, when you have runners on and you get two outs in one at-bat, it ends up being a factor.''
Trout led off the bottom half and hit a grounder to third baseman Ryon Healy, who threw high and wide of first. Pujols then drove a 3-1 pitch from Ryan Dull (5-3) far over the left-field fence for his 581st home run.
The slugger is two behind former St. Louis Cardinals teammate Mark McGwire for 10th on the career list. Pujols has 1,192 extra-base hits, passing Lou Gehrig for sole possession of ninth place, and his 20th walk-off plate appearance tied him for third-most since 1969, behind Dusty Baker and Rickey Henderson.
''Guys like Albert, it seems like late in the game, those guys want to be up there,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''They're going to give you a good at-bat.''
One night after earning his first save, Bedrosian, filling in for injured closer Huston Street, blew an opportunity when he allowed the tying run in the ninth. Bedrosian put the first five batters of the inning on base before being removed in favor of Morin.
Bedrosian said the outing reminded him just how short his memory has to be as a closer.
''It was just one of those nights where I suppose I didn't have my best stuff,'' he said. ''I wanted to be the guy that goes back out there and gets another save after the first one, but it's a learning experience.''
After the A's scored once in the eighth on Jed Lowrie's bases-loaded walk to cut the Los Angeles lead to 6-5, Coco Crisp singled leading off the ninth. Max Muncy walked and Vogt tied the game with a single to left-center. Muncy was tagged out in a rundown between second and third, but Bedrosian walked Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso to load the bases.
Morin got Valencia to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.
Jered Weaver limited Oakland to four runs (three earned) and nine hits in six innings. Weaver gave up runs in the second, third and fourth, but the Angels tied it in the bottom of each inning before taking a 6-4 lead in the fifth.
Athletics: Lowrie is playing with a bunion on his left foot. The team has ordered him orthotics in hopes of easing the pain but acknowledged that surgery might be an option. Lowrie is trying to avoid the disabled list.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano has opted for Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament. General manager Billy Eppler announced the decision but said Tropeano doesn't yet have a date or a doctor chosen. ... RHP Garrett Richards saw significant healing of his torn UCL from stem cell therapy at an imaging appointment. He plans to continue the treatment and will have more images taken in 10-14 days.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday for his fourth start with Oakland this season. Hahn is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two appearances against the Angels and 2-4 with a 5.53 ERA in eight major league games this year.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco will make his Angels debut in the series finale. Nolasco was acquired from Minnesota on Monday along with RHP Alex Meyer in exchange for LHP Hector Santiago. Nolasco, who grew up 50 miles northeast of Angel Stadium in Rialto, is 4-8 with a 5.13 ERA.