Sports Minute: Pujols 2 HRs, passes Mays for 5th place, Angels beat Rangers
By JOE REEDYAP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols homered twice to pass Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Pujols hit No. 661 in the fifth inning to break the tie with Mays, then connected again in his next at-bat.
The 40-year-old Pujols now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).
Pujols had hit just four home runs this season before posting the 60th multi-HR game of his career and first since May 11 last year at Baltimore. He finished with three hits on the night.
After tying Mays' mark last Sunday in Colorado, he passed the Hall of Famer with a solo drive to left. Pujols sent a 1-2 fastball from Wes Benjamin into the Rangers' bullpen. Pujols pointed to the dugout and did a fist pump as he approached third base.
After the Rangers rallied to get within 3-2, Pujols led off the seventh with No. 662 off Demarcus Evans into the Angels' bullpen to extend the lead.
Pujols has gone deep to left 330 times in his career and 362 have come with the bases empty.
Pujols, who has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year, has 108 HRs at Angel Stadium, which is only three behind the 111 he hit at new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.
Taylor Ward added two hits and an RBI while Anthony Rendon had a two-run double in the eighth for the Angels, who beat the Rangers for only the second time in seven meetings this season. Jaime Barria (1-0) tied a career high in strikeouts with eight.
Willie Calhoun drove in both runs for the Rangers, who have dropped three of their last four.
Ward opened the scoring in the second with a one-out single after Justin Upton led off with a double.
After Pujols' milestone homer, Los Angeles extended its lead to 3-0 when Andrelton Simmons scored on David Fletcher's grounder.
Benjamin came on in the second after Jimmy Herget was used as an opener for the first time in his career. Benjamin gave up two runs on six hits in four innings with four strikeouts.
Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (sprained right wrist) is unlikely to come off the injured list by the end of the season. Manager Chris Woodward said Choo is still having a hard time picking up a bat.
Angels: Upton was hit in the helmet by Evans in the seventh inning and did not return. ... Shohei Ohtani could begin a throwing program before the season concludes. The right-hander made only two starts before being shut down due to a forearm strain. He is hopeful of returning to his pitcher-designated hitter role next season after mainly being a DH again this season.
The Rangers announced that they have acquired OF Marcus Smith and IF Dustin Harris as the two players to be named in the Aug. 31 trade to Oakland involving LHP Mike Minor. Smith and Harris were drafted in 2019.
Texas also received international slot compensation and cash considerations in the deal.
Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn (6-2) is third in the AL with a 2.40 ERA. He has four straight wins over the Angels, including two this season.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) has won three of his last four starts, but is 2-5 for his career against Texas.
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