Houstonians still fear
Facing young Houston right-hander Joe Musgrove with two teammates in scoring position, Pujols punished a fifth-inning fastball left high and inside.
The baseball towered up, seemed bound to hit the roof, and eventually curled inside the left-field foul pole. The three-run home run supplied the difference in the Angels 5-2 victory.
"You're always pleased any time you get an opportunity to help the team out to win," Pujols said. "I just put my best swing of the night on it."
"It couldn't have come at a better time," left fielderCameron Maybin said. "What a timely big hit. We needed that. We needed something to spark our offense."
The four runs the Angels managed in that inning surpassed their total of three in the previous 40 innings. They had earlier snapped their 21-inning scoreless streak with two outs in the second, when Andrelton Simmons homered to right field for the first time in his career. He claimed to not know the length of the streak, but acknowledged the significance of his hit.
"Getting that run got us going, I feel like," Simmons said.
Simmons had hit 36 previous home runs in the major leagues. The farthest right he'd ever hit one was to dead center.
Simmons said he has often joked that after he hits an 'oppo' homer he's going to retire. "So I'm good" he said. "I'm ready to go home now."
"Nothing great, nothing terrible," Nolasco said. "I just got through it. It's pitching. That's what it is."
An alert play by Maybin in the fourth inning aided him. Seeking to catch
"It seemed like a popup," Maybin said. "And then literally as it's coming down I'm thinking, 'Oh no, I can't catch this.' I tried to take a good angle to make the throw. It just worked out." It was his first time manning left field in Houston.
After Nolasco exited, Manager
Houston Manager A.J. Hinch pinch-hit Jake Marisnick, who walked.
So, Scioscia brought in Cam Bedrosian to pitch to
With two outs,