ANAHEIM -- Jose Pujols knocked an RBI double down the left-field line for his 2,999th career hit in the second inning Thursday. Each of his next three plate appearances warranted a standing ovation. But alas, history didn't come on this night.Though Pujols didn't notch his 3,000th hit, the Angels racked
ANAHEIM -- Jose Pujols knocked an RBI double down the left-field line for his 2,999th career hit in the second inning Thursday. Each of his next three plate appearances warranted a standing ovation. But alas, history didn't come on this night.
Though Pujols didn't notch his 3,000th hit, the Angels racked up 15 knocks, plowing past the Orioles, 12-3, to complete a three-game sweep at Angel Stadium.
"At the end of the day, it's going to happen one of these days," Pujols said. "It's not about me -- this is about our organization and our team."
The bats came alive for the Angels this series against the Orioles, who have a 5.21 ERA, ranked 28th in the Majors. Entering the series, the Halos had lost nine of their last 12 games, scoring two or fewer runs nine times during that stretch.
After scoring 10 runs on Wednesday and 12 on Thursday, the offensive tides may be turning back in the Angels' favor.
Michael Trout went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs. He went 3-for-8 with a homer, six walks and three RBIs in the series. He is second in the Majors with 11 home runs.
Justin Upton went 3-for-4 and has five hits in his last nine at-bats, starting with his walk-off single Tuesday, which broke him out of a 5-for-45 slump.
Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-3 with an RBI, showing indications that the mild left ankle sprain that delayed his scheduled start on the mound Tuesday isn't affecting his bat. After entering the series in a 4-for-27 slump, Luis Valbuena went 4-for-9 with a homer and four RBIs over the three games vs. Baltimore.
"When you're swinging the way we did the last two nights, obviously it's fun," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've been playing so many tight games these last 10 games, that it's good to break out."
Andrelton Simmons went 5-for-11 with four RBIs and four runs in the series. He currently has an eight-game hitting streak and is slashing .327/.391/.510 this season.
"Everybody knows what we can do, we know what we can do, but we've still got to go out there and do it," Simmons said. "We had a couple of bad series, bad games, but it's nice to see everybody start waking up and swinging the bat good."
Jaime Barria had a strong showing on the mound in his third career start, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He allowed two runs on four hits over six innings, striking out two and walking two.
"I think he has a lot of poise for a young pitcher and a young person," Scioscia said. "He still has a lot of growth. He's seeing what the beast is: Major League hitters, Major League ballparks. And he's making adjustments. … His stuff keeps getting better and better, more refined as he's gotten out there."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Halos pounce early: The Angels' offense started quickly, plating five runs in the first. The inning started with an Ian Kinsler walk. Trout tripled in Kinsler, then Upton doubled in Trout to make it 2-0. After a Pujols groundout, Ohtani singled on a sharp line drive to right, scoring Upton, making it 3-0. Simmons added an RBI double, and Valbuena capped the rally with an RBI single.
Kinsler's career batting average against the Orioles (.343, 124-for-361) is the second highest vs. Baltimore of players who started their careers during or after 1939, behind only Ted Williams (.374).
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Upton's 114.9-mph single in the fourth was his hardest-hit ball since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015.
The Angels will turn to Garrett Richards to start their series against the Mariners on Friday night at 7:10 PT. Richards will be making his first start against Seattle since Sept. 25, 2015. He is 5-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 18 career games (10 starts) against the Mariners. Richards will oppose Mariners right-hander Mike Leake.
Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com.