Pujols slugs first Cactus League homer

March 12th, 2016

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Albert Pujols launched his first home run of the spring and almost belted another one as the Angels beat the split-squad Giants, 9-5, at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday.
Pujols turned on a first-inning offspeed pitch from veteran right-hander Jake Peavy and smoked a line drive that sailed just over the left-field fence for a two-run shot. In the fifth, the 10-time All-Star hit about a 410-foot flyout to center field.
Peavy finished his third Cactus League start giving up three runs on five hits and two walks in four innings, putting his ERA at 10.38 this spring. His opponent, Angels lefty Hector Santiago, was charged with three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings, though he also struck out four.

The Giants got a run-scoring triple from Brandon Crawford in the first and plated a couple of runs in the second on a misplayed grounder by Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar, a converted shortstop. In the fifth, outfield prospect Mac Williamson -- ranked seventh in the Giants' system by MLBPipeline.com -- blasted a two-run homer off setup man Joe Smith.
Blach allows five runs, Parker homers for split-squad Giants
The Angels got a second-inning sacrifice fly by catcher Carlos Perez and a fifth-inning RBI single by center fielder Mike Trout, who's batting .500 this spring. They then pulled away with a three-run sixth inning off Albert Suarez, getting an RBI groundout by Perez and a two-run single by Todd Cunningham, who's competing for a spot off the bench.

Catcher Trevor Brown and infielder Grant Green, previously with the Angels, each had a couple of hits for the Giants. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, second baseman Johnny Giavotella and first baseman Ji-Man Choi each had two hits for the Angels, with Choi -- also competing for a bench spot -- coming through with an RBI single in the seventh.

Pujols is now 4-for-14 in Cactus League play, with all of his playing time coming as a designated hitter. The 36-year-old first baseman has been doing defensive work since the start of camp and could soon start playing first base in games.
The Angels drew 9,663 fans, giving them their first sellout of the spring.
Giants Up Next: Continuing preparations for his Opening Day start April 4 at Milwaukee, Madison Bumgarner will make his third Cactus League start when the Giants entertain the San Diego Padres on Sunday in Scottsdale. The 1:05 p.m. PT encounter will be broadcast live on NBC Bay Area, MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.
Angels Up Next:Matt Shoemaker makes his third start of the spring, opposite left-hander Derek Holland, when the Angels host the Rangers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. First pitch is 1:10 p.m. PT, live on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio. Shoemaker is in need of an encouraging start, after giving up eight runs on 12 hits (four of them homers) and two walks in five innings thus far. The 29-year-old right-hander is vying for a spot in the rotation.