Reuters/ Los Angeles
Albert Pujols hit two homers and moved into sole possession of fifth place on the major league career home run list, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-2 win against the Texas Rangers in the opener of a four-game series on Friday night in Anaheim, California.
Pujols hit a line drive over the left field fence in the fifth inning for the 661st home run of his career, moving him past Willie Mays on the all-time list. The 40-year-old designated hitter lifted another solo shot to left in the seventh for Los Angeles (22-30).
Angels starter Jaime Barria threw six shutout innings before exiting after 6 1/3 innings, having allowed two runs and six hits and no walks while matching his career high with eight strikeouts.
Barria (1-0) was 0-7 since his last major league win on July 24, 2019, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Anderson Tejeda had two hits and Willie Calhoun drove in both runs for the Rangers (18-33).
Texas reliever Wes Benjamin (1-1) went three innings, allowing two runs and six hits, striking out four and walking two.
Taylor Ward’s run-scoring single in the second inning gave the Angels a 1-0 lead. Ward went 2-for-4 to improve to 14-for-26 in his past nine games.
Pujols clubbed his fifth homer of the season in the fifth off Benjamin to stretch the lead to 2-0 and surpass Mays.Los Angeles’ Andrelton Simmons and David Fletcher had back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth to put runners on the corners. Jared Walsh then hit a soft grounder to Isiah Kiner-Falefa at third. He elected to try for the double play, instead of throwing home, and the Rangers couldn’t turn it, allowing Simmons to score for a 3-0 lead.
The Rangers made it 3-2 in the seventh on a one-out, two-run single by Calhoun that chased Barria. Pujols hit his second home run off reliever Demarcus Evans, who was making his major league debut, to make it 4-2. He needs 34 home runs to tie Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the all-time list. Anthony Rendon added a two-run double in the eighth to stretch the lead to 6-2.
Machado goes deep twice as Padres top Mariners
Manny Machado hit two home runs and Chris Paddack pitched six scoreless innings of one-hit ball as the San Diego Padres defeated the Seattle Mariners 6-1 Friday night.
The Mariners were considered the home team in San Diego, since the three-game weekend series between the teams was moved to Southern California because of hazardous air quality in the Puget Sound region due to wildfires in the Pacific Northwest.
The Padres (33-19) won for the ninth time in the past 11 games and moved to the verge of clinching a National League playoff berth. The Mariners (22-29) took their fourth straight loss.
Paddack (4-4), who hadn’t pitched since leaving a September 10 start against the San Francisco Giants after two innings due to a sprained right ankle, walked two and struck out three.
The only hit Paddack allowed was rookie Evan White’s infield single leading off the third. White, who had two of Seattle’s three hits, broke up the shutout bid with a solo homer off right-hander Pierce Johnson in the eighth.
The Padres opened the scoring in the third without the benefit of a base hit. Trent Grisham led off with a walk, and an out later, Machado also worked a base on balls.
A double steal put runners at second and third, and a wild pitch by Seattle left-hander Yusei Kikuchi made it 1-0. San Diego scored four times in the fourth. Tommy Pham led off with a single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a walk to Jake Cronenworth, Jurickson Profar reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Grisham grounded into a forceout to score the first run of the inning. An out later, Machado lined a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left-centre field to make it 5-0.
Machado added a solo shot off right-hander Walker Lockett in the ninth, his team-leading 16th homer of the season.
Kikuchi (2-4) struggled with his control, allowing five runs on four hits with six walks and three strikeouts in four innings. He also threw three wild pitches.
Jesse Winker’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run third inning, and the surging Cincinnati extended its season-high winning streak to six games with a win over visiting Chicago.
Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto also homered in the third, and Nick Castellanos delivered a solo shot in the first for Cincinnati.
Sitting .500 for the first time since August 3, the Reds have worked themselves into postseason position.
Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle (2-2) allowed a run, four hits, struck out eight and walked one over 5 2/3 innings.
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