ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a pair of solo homers against David Price, and Matt Shoemaker took a shutout into the seventh inning to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Sunday.
Pujols drove an 0-2 pitch over the center-field fence in the first inning. The three-time NL MVP increased the Angels’ advantage to 6-2 in the seventh with his 12th homer this season and the 504th of his career, tying Eddie Murray for 25th place.
Price became the 319th pitcher Pujols has homered off during the regular season.
Shoemaker (2-1) was charged with a run and two hits in six-plus innings. He struck out six, five days after earning his first major league win with a 4-3 victory at Philadelphia. The 27-year-old right-hander was lifted after issuing his third walk, to James Loney leading off the seventh.
Michael Morin relieved Shoemaker with a 5-0 lead and retired his first batter before Kevin Kiermaier hit his first big league homer — a drive to left that kept carrying until it disappeared in the lower seats in the left-field corner. That ended a career-opening streak of nine scoreless innings by Morin.
Price (4-4) gave up six runs — five earned — and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He beat the Mariners 2-1 last Tuesday at Seattle with a complete game.
The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, who has allowed no more than one walk in a franchise-record 13 consecutive starts dating to last season, went to a three-ball count on five Angels batters. But he’s paid the price for his major league-best strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s given up 78 hits, tying Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee for most in the majors.
Howie Kendrick gave the Angels a 2-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the third, and they increased the margin to 5-0 with three runs in the fourth after Price gave up three straight singles with none out. The third one was a drive by Grant Green over the head of left fielder Matt Joyce, scoring Erick Aybar.
Luis Jimenez followed with a sacrifice bunt, and two more runs scored when third baseman Evan Longoria booted Collin Cowgill’s grounder near the bag for his third error of the season.
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