Slam continues Pujols' resurgence
Leads American League with 20 home runs
OAKLAND -- Albert Pujols' seventh-inning grand slam barely cleared the fence in left, but he got just enough on it to catapult his team in front. The home run, highlighting an eight-run frame, gave the Angels a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a 12-7 win over the A's at the Coliseum on Friday night.
"With that situation, one out, you just want to stay away from a double play and being a rally killer," Pujols said. "Just get something up, and that's what I did, and obviously I put the best swing of the night."
Pujols, who has 12 home runs in his last 20 games and an American League-leading 20 on the season, finished the night 2-for-5 with three runs scored and five RBIs. He leads the AL in home runs, RBIs, runs and slugging since May 28.
After a slow start to the season, Pujols has returned to the slugger baseball fans have grown accustomed to seeing.
"He's one of the best players in the game for a reason," Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun said. "Has been for a long time. Came up in a big spot, got the pitch he was looking for and put a good swing on it."
Pujols' line shot came off A's reliever Edward Mujica, and it scored Chris Iannetta, Daniel Robertson and Mike Trout. The Angels were in the middle of a rally and trailed, 7-5, when Pujols came to bat.
In one inning, a comfortable five-run A's lead turned into a three-run lead for the Angels. With one swing, Pujols turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead.
"I knew it had a pretty good chance to go, especially down the line," Pujols said of his 13th career grand slam. "I was just praying it would stay fair."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was hoping it would ricochet off the wall to score Trout from first, but it ended up clearing the fence.
"It was a rocket," Scioscia said.
Pujols added an RBI double in the ninth to give the Angels even more of a cushion. On a night when the A's held a sizable lead, they ended up committing three errors in the inning and four overall.
Pujols made them pay. Just like he's done to the opposition all June.
"It's the same thing I've been doing all year long," Pujols said. "I'm just getting better breaks. I know that I can hit, and I know what I can do."