ARLINGTON -- Jose Pujols hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Angels to a 6-3 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park on Friday night. The Angels have now won five straight, while the Rangers have lost three of four.The home run, coming off
ARLINGTON -- Jose Pujols hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Angels to a 6-3 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park on Friday night. The Angels have now won five straight, while the Rangers have lost three of four.
The home run, coming off Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress in a tie game, was Pujols' third of the season and the 594th of his career. It also gave him 1,838 RBIs, passing Ken Griffey Jr. for 15th all time and one behind Ted Williams.
It came after Jeffress, with one on and one out, walked Michael Trout on four pitches. The Rangers were clearly pitching around Trout, but Pujols hit a breaking ball deep over the left-field fence at a Statcast-projected distance of 436 feet with an exit velocity of 106 mph.
"He's been driving in runs all along, even though maybe some hits haven't fallen in for him, he's hitting the ball hard and driving in runs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We know what he can do, and it's good to see him feeling a little more comfortable in the box."
Prior to Pujols coming to the plate, pitching coach Doug Brocail went to the mound and told Jeffress to attack Pujols with his best pitch, which is the sinker. That's what catcher Jonathan Lucroy signaled for, but Jeffress threw a curve instead.
"I think I crossed him up," Jeffress said. "I saw a different [sign]. I thought I saw more fingers than one. I just got to get the stuff out of my eyes. I thought it was a different pitch [called]. It was just one pitch. I'm not going to overthink it. The guy's a good hitter. It was a bad pitch selection, bad location, a misstep on my part."
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs held the Rangers to one run on four hits through five innings. He threw only 76 pitches before leaving with tightness in his right side. Rangers starter Nick Martinez gave up a home run to Yunel Escobar on the first pitch of the game, then shut down the Angels until Trout hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
• Martinez giving Rangers something to think about
Yusmeiro Petit, Deolis Guerra, David Hernandez and Jose Alvarez each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, with Alvarez getting his first save in his 157th Major League appearance and 33rd game finished.
"Our bullpen has been 'stretched' is probably an understatement," Scioscia said. "For Hernandez and for Alvarez to take that ball again, they've been taking it a lot, and close it out is big. … They got it done."
• Trout homers on final callup anniversary
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Calhoun sparks Angels offense: Martinez had retired 10 straight hitters before Kole Calhoun got the Angels going in the sixth. He worked the count full on Martinez, then lined a single to right. That set up Trout's two-run shot that gave the Angels a 3-1 lead. Calhoun also had a one-out single in the eighth leading up to Pujols' home run.
"When Calhoun gets on like that, it makes it challenging," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Andrus burns Trout:Elvis Andrus again showed why he is an outstanding baserunner. With Delino DeShields on second with no outs in the sixth, he sent a pitch into center field. Trout charged the ball with the idea of trying for DeShields at home, then seemed to let up when he saw there was no chance of getting him. Trout lobbed the ball toward second, and Andrus bolted that way as well. He beat the throw as the Angels' infielders seemed confused as to who was covering the base, turning the single into a double. It proved big because Andrus scored on a two-out single by Mike Napoli to tie the game at 3.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Carlos Gomez's sacrifice fly in the first inning ended the Rangers' streak of 49 straight games without one. Nomar Mazara had one on Sept. 2, 2016. That tied the 1967 Angels for the longest drought for any team. Texas' streak of 22 straight games without a sac fly to start the season is tied for the third longest.
ANGELS LOSE TWO TO INJURY
After Skaggs left with tightness in his right side, first baseman C.J. Cron also exited due to injury after he fouled a ball off the top of his left foot in the eighth inning. Cron singled but was removed from the game for a pinch-runner after reaching base. More >
Angels:Jesse Chavez will start for the Angels at 4:15 p.m. PT on Saturday, facing the Rangers for the second time this season. The right-hander allowed a season-high five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in an April 12 loss to Texas at Angel Stadium.
Rangers: Right-hander Yu Darvish pitches against the Angels with first pitch at 6:15 p.m. CT on Saturday. He threw seven scoreless innings against the Angels on April 13 and is 8-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 career starts against them.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington and covered the Angels on Friday.