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Angels rally past Astros, 11-5

Los Angeles AngelsSportsBaseballMajor League BaseballJoe ThatcherAlbert PujolsHector Santiago
Angels rally to an 11-5 victory over the Houston Astros

KEY MOMENT: Albert Pujols stood and watched as his mammoth home run sailed deep into the night and put the Angels ahead for good. The Angels had trailed 5-2 entering the seventh inning, but a trio of home runs — two-run homers from Pujols and David Freese and a three-run homer from C.J. Cron — highlighted an eight-run inning. The Angels won their ninth consecutive home game, completing the first 20-3 span at home in club history. They have won 50 games this season, 25 coming from behind. Their .581 winning percentage is second-best in the American League, trailing only the Oakland Athletics, and third-best in the majors, behind the A's and Milwaukee Brewers.

AT THE PLATE: In addition to his home run, Pujols singled in the Angels' first run. He is on pace to drive in 104 runs; he has driven in 100 in each of the nine seasons in which he has played at least 148 games. He also tied Mel Ott for 23rd on the all-time home-run list, with 511. Up next: Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews, at 512.

ON THE MOUND: Hector Santiago (0-7, 4.50) might have made his last start for the Angels, at least for a while. He gave up five runs in five innings, on three walks, six hits and seven strikeouts. The Angels used six starters in this turn of the rotation because of a doubleheader, but they figure to remove Santiago or Matt Shoemaker (6-2, 4.35).

ON THE TRADE: The Angels acquired left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana from Arizona for double-A outfielder Zach Borenstein and single-A reliever Joey Krehbiel. Thatcher, 32, who fills the Angels' vacancy for a left-handed reliever, posted a 2.63 ERA in 37 games for Arizona, with three walks and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings. Campana, 28, was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake and could serve as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner when rosters expand in September.

QUOTEBOOK: Thatcher, who had spent his entire career with the Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres without ever appearing in postseason play: "I've been on a lot of losing teams. Coming to a team like this is exciting, for sure."

ROSTER NEWS: Reliever Fernando Salas is set to make a second and perhaps final rehab appearance with Class-A Inland Empire on Sunday. He could take the roster spot of left-hander Michael Roth, who was summoned from double-A Arkansas Saturday to protect against a short start by Santiago. Roth pitched two shutout innings and earned the victory.

UP NEXT: The Angels' Garrett Richards (9-2, 2.81) faces the Astros' Collin McHugh (4-7, 3.22) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Angel Stadium. TV: FS West. Radio: 830, 1330.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles AngelsSportsBaseballMajor League BaseballJoe ThatcherAlbert PujolsHector Santiago
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