ANAHEIM (AP) — Albert Pujols homered in the first inning and C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings of two-hit ball as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0 Saturday night.
Wilson (4-5) struck out eight and walked three in his first scoreless outing since April 7, when he allowed two hits over eight innings in a victory at Seattle. The left-hander was 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA his previous five starts — including a loss at Yankee Stadium last Sunday, when he gave up a season-worst six runs along with seven hits and three homers in seven innings.
Joe Smith pitched a perfect eighth and Huston Street got three outs for his 19th save in 21 attempts, one night after he needed 26 pitches to preserve a 5-4 victory against his former club.
Kendall Graveman (3-3) went the distance for the first time in nine major league starts, allowing eight hits and striking out eight without walking a batter. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 111 pitches, helping out manager Bob Melvin’s battered bullpen. On April 20 in Anaheim, Graveman threw 73 pitches in three-plus innings and left with a 5-3 lead after walking his first two batters in the fourth.
Two nights after passing Mickey Mantle for 16th place on the all-time home run list, Pujols hit the 538th of his career and raised his RBI total to 1,636 — tying Ernie Banks for 29th place on that list.
Pujols’ drive into the left field bullpen gave him 18 homers for the season, tying Mike Trout for the club lead. The three-time NL MVP became the sixth player in Angels history to homer at least 10 times in a 15-game span, and the first since Mo Vaughn did it from May 8-25, 2000.
Billy Burns’ leadoff single in the first was Oakland’s only hit until the fifth, when Stephen Vogt hit a two-out double after a walk to Brett Lawrie. But Wilson escaped the jam by striking out Sam Fuld, who was in the starting lineup against a left-hander for only the second time all season. Fuld came in 4 for 11 against Wilson with three RBIs and no strikeouts.
Angels left fielder Matt Joyce, who came in hitting .181 with four homers and 17 RBIs in 54 games, batted ninth for the seventh time in the 638 regular-season games he has started in the majors — and the first time since May 27, 2014. He was 0 for 3.
Angels third baseman David Freese, who was kept out of the starting lineup the previous three games because of tightness in his right hamstring, was 2 for 3.
Pujols, who needs one stolen base to join Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players with at least 300 steals, .500 homers and a .300 career batting average, was thrown out at second by catcher Josh Phegley in the sixth.
(copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)