Albert Pujols Hits Two Home Runs To Help Lift Angels Over Rays, 6-2

ANAHEIM – The Los Angeles Angels took the final game of the series against the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 6-2, to help take three of the four games in the series.

Matt Shoemaker took the mound for the Angels, in a “earn your stripes” start. Shoemaker has excelled this season as a Major Leaguer but is currently still at the back end of the rotation, hoping to keep his role as a starter.

Shoemaker worked six plus innings of work today, in a quality start. Over his six innings, Shoemaker threw 89 pitches, 52 that hit the zone, and two that were hit. Shoemaker earned one run in his performance that was given up while he was not on the mound, but he did allow the runner to reach the base. Shoemaker put six down by way of the K, all with his illustrious split-finger fastball, and walked three over the course of his evening.

“He had good fastball command, good splitter, and overall, had a good day. He looked tired after the sixth, looked like he was out of gas, but he pitched well,” said manager, Mike Scioscia of his pitcher’s performance near the end of his outing.

The Rays pair of runs came on one swing. Kevin Kiermaier collected his first career Major League hit last night, and collected his second one today, one that is probably more memorable than the first. Kiermaier sat on a 1-0 fastball and lined it over the fences in left field for a two-run home run, the first of his career. Mike Morin had just taken over pitching duties for the Angels. The home run was the first career run given up by Morin.

Albert Pujols gave the Angels a pair of runs going 3-for-4 with two home runs. The two home runs were Pujols’ 503rd and 504th career home runs, tying him with Eddie Murray for 25th all-time in Major League history. It was the second time in 2014 that Pujols hit multiple jacks, and the 48th time of his career. Both home runs were solo home runs.

Mike Scioscia said of Pujols breaking his slump with two home runs;

Sometimes timing is off, and when you find it, you’re squaring the ball up a little better.”

The Angels rallied in the third and fourth inning to bring a total of four runs home as three straight, two-out singles in the third brought Mike Trout home. The RBI came off the bat of Howie Kendrick who battled from down no balls and two strikes, to a full count and singled to left on the ninth pitch of the at bat.

In the fourth, three straight singles to leadoff the inning and an error brought three total runs home for the Halos. Grant Green singled a run home giving him his fourth RBI of the season. Green finished the day going 3-for-4 with the RBI, and putting him at a .368 batting average on the season so far, in 38 at bats.

Joe Smith and Ernesto Frieri came in to finish what was left of the game. Both allowed a leadoff single in their respective innings, followed by a pair of strikeouts, and both ending with an out in the field of play.

Some moves are coming for the Angels with multiple players on rehab assignments in the minor leagues, or injuries that are close to healing. Those players are;

- Sean Burnett, LHP

- Kole Calhoun, OF

- Dane de la Rosa, RHP

- David Freese, 3B

- Josh Hamilton, OF

Sean Burnett is near to returning, as well as David Freese and Kole Calhoun. Calhoun could be back as early as tomorrow, with David Freese right behind him. The time table for Burnett has not been stated, but every indication that he could return within the coming weeks is evident.

As for Josh Hamilton and Dane de la Rosa, both are participating in baseball activities. De la Rosa threw a bullpen session earlier today, “30 pitches, all fastballs, looked good,” is what pitching coach Mike Butcher had to say about it. Josh Hamilton has participated in batting practice and could be set for a rehab assignment Friday.

 

 

Final from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California:

W – Matt Shoemaker (2-1, 3.06)

L – David Price (4-4, 4.28)

 

 

 

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