ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Mike Trout also homered for Los Angeles, which quickly led 1-0 after Yunel Escobar went deep on the first pitch of the game.
Pujols’ third homer of the season came on his first pitch from Jeremy Jeffress (0-2), who had already allowed a single to Kole Calhoun and walked Trout.
Deolis Guerra (1-1) picked up the win after a striking out two in a scoreless seventh inning.
Jose Alvarez worked a perfect ninth, getting his first save in his 157th career game. The right-hander made his MLB debut for Detroit in 2013, and has been with the Angels since.
Angels starter Tyler Skaggs limited Texas to one run and four hits in five innings. He struck out six and left the game after throwing just 76 pitches due to right-side tightness.
Nick Martinez allowed five hits and three runs in six innings. The right-hander, who was making his second start in place of A.J. Griffin (gout), struck out seven without a walk. Griffin pitched in a minor-league game Friday night.
Martinez had a rocky start when Escobar hit his ninth career leadoff home run. Martinez also allowed Trout’s two-run shot in the sixth that put the Angels up 3-1.
The Rangers got even at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Gomez. That was Texas’ first sacrifice fly this season and ended a streak of 49 games without one dating to Sept. 2, 2016. That streak had tied with the 1967 Angels for the most in MLB history since the stat was re-introduced in 1954.
After Trout’s seventh homer to right-center, Texas tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth after Elvis Andrus had an RBI double and scored on Mike Napoli’s single.
NOT THE CLOSER
Sam Dyson came off the DL (bruised right hand) earlier Friday and pitched for the first time since losing his closer role after his third blown save April 16. Dyson allowed a hit in a scoreless ninth.
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said RHP Cam Bedrosian (groin) and 3B Luis Valbuena (hamstring) are both feeling better. Scioscia said the Angels are monitoring Valbuena closely and hope he’ll be ready after this weekend.
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (thoracic outlet syndrome ) is going to pitch from a mound this weekend after dealing with back spasms. . Adrian Beltre (calf strain) went home to California to spend some time with his family and won’t travel to Houston or Seattle, instead returning to Arlington for rehab.
Angels: RHP Jesse Chavez makes his fifth start and second against the Rangers after allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings on April 12.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish starts with an extra day of rest after striking out eight in a 5-2 win against Kansas City on Sunday.
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