Pujols hits milestone home run, Angels beat Jays 8-2
TORONTO (AP) — Albert Pujols had a productive night at the plate and passed a former teammate on the all-time home run list, helping the Angels to a rare road win.
Pujols moved into sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time list by hitting his 584th home run, Matt Shoemaker pitched six shutout innings and Los Angeles snapped an 11-game road losing streak by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 on Wednesday.
Pujols had a season-high four hits and three RBIs. After he and Mike Trout hit back-to-back homers in the first, Pujols hit a sacrifice fly in the second, singled in the fourth and sixth innings, then capped his night with an RBI double in the eighth.
Pujols left without speaking to reporters, but his teammates shared their happiness at his historic homer.
“Albert will probably pass a few more of those guys, hopefully all of them,” Shoemaker said. “It’s always special and we’re happy for him.”
Pujols leads the Angels with 99 RBIs.
“Albert just keeps going,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s approaching 100 RBIs. He’s in the middle of our lineup virtually every day. He got some big hits tonight.”
For Pujols, the homer broke a tie with Mark McGwire on the all-time list. Pujols hit 37 homers as a rookie with St. Louis in 2001, McGwire’s final season before retirement.
“That’s pretty special,” Trout said of Pujols’ milestone homer. “Obviously he and McGwire were teammates, they know each other well.”
A three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star, Pujols is two home runs shy of tying Frank Robinson for ninth place.
A 16-year veteran, Pujols has hit at least 20 home runs in every season but 2013, when he was limited to 99 games.
“He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down,” Trout said. “He’s still putting up numbers, still driving in 100. It’s fun to watch.”
Two pitches after Trout hit his 24th home run, Pujols did the same. It was the fourth time this season the Angels have hit back-to-back homers.
Both shots came off Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada, who allowed season-worsts of six runs and 10 hits in five innings. Estrada (7-6) is winless in his past three starts and has allowed six homers in that span.
“My last two outings haven’t gone well but these things happen,” Estrada said. “I’m sure things will turn around for me.”
Jett Bandy had a career-high four hits as the Angels won away from home for the first time since July 26 at Kansas City. They matched the 1963 squad for the third-longest road skid in Angels history. Los Angeles lost a record 14 straight road games in 1969.
Shoemaker (8-13) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three to win consecutive starts for the second time this season.
“Shoe did a great job,” Scioscia said. “That lineup can swing the bats if you make mistakes. He didn’t make very many mistakes.”
Toronto remained tied with Boston atop the AL East after the Red Sox lost 4-3 in 11 innings at Tampa Bay.
Pujols hadn’t had a four-hit game since June 17, 2013, against Seattle.
The Blue Jays are 8-23 when they don’t hit at least one home run. Toronto had homered in its previous six games.
Angels: RHP Cam Bedrosian (right middle finger) has been shut down after tests revealed a blood clot in his upper arm. He will visit a specialist for further treatment. ... RHP Huston Street had season-ending surgery on his right knee Wednesday. Street went 3-2 with a career-low nine saves and a 6.45 ERA. He is the sixth player to undergo season-ending surgery for the last-place Angels
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (sore right ring finger) missed his second straight game. ... OF Jose Bautista (left knee) was cleared to come off the DL on Thursday after participating in a simulated game at Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida.
Angels: RHP Jared Weaver (8-11, 5.47) will seek to avoid matching a career-worst streak of four straight losing starts.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (17-3, 3.05) can become the first 18-game winner in the majors Thursday. Happ has won 11 straight decisions. He’s 0-4 with an 8.00 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles.