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Albert Pujols hits his 521st homer in Angels' 5-3 win over Seattle

Albert Pujols hits a two-run homer in first inning to set the pace in Angels' 5-3 victory in Seattle

KEY MOMENT: Angels setup man Joe Smith, summoned to protect a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning, ran into immediate trouble when Dustin Ackley led off with an infield single and Robinson Cano doubled to right-center field, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Smith struck out cleanup batter Nelson Cruz with a sweeping slider, and after intentionally walking Kyle Seager to load the bases, the sidearm-throwing right-hander struck out Rickie Weeks and got Logan Morrison to fly to center. Smith has thrown nine scoreless innings against Seattle since the start of 2014, giving up six hits, striking out 12 and walking two in that span.

AT THE PLATE: Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has been tough on the Angels, entering Wednesday with a 6-1 record and 2.75 earned-run average in 10 games against them, and he was particularly tough on Albert Pujols, who had a career .185 average (five for 27) against the right-hander. But Pujols set the tone for the evening when he hit a long two-run home run to left field in the first inning, giving him 521 and tying him with Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas for 18th on baseball's all-time list. Johnny Giavotella had three singles, and Efren Navarro had two hits, doubling and scoring on Mike Trout's sacrifice fly in the second for a 5-0 lead and getting a single in the fourth.

ON THE MOUND: Matt Shoemaker, who finished second in American League rookie-of-the-year balloting last season, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking none. The right-hander gave up two home runs, a solo shot to Brad Miller to right field in the third and a two-run shot to Seager to right-center field in the sixth. But he escaped a first-and-third, two-out jam in the second by striking out Mike Zunino with a nasty split-fingered fastball. Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin combined for a scoreless seventh, and closer Huston Street retired the side in order in the ninth for his second save.

IN THE FIELD: With runners on second and third and one out in the first, Erick Aybar, with the infield in, ripped a grounder that went under the glove of Cano, the Mariners' second baseman, for an error. Cano would have had a chance to cut down a run at the plate had he fielded the ball cleanly. Instead, two runs scored, pushing a 2-0 Angels lead to 4-0.

EXTRA BASES: The Angels won two of three games from the Mariners in the season-opening series, a stark contrast to the beginning of the 2014 season, when Seattle outscored the Angels, 26-8, in a three-game sweep in Anaheim.

UP NEXT: The Angels are off Thursday. Left-hander Hector Santiago (6-9, 3.75 ERA in 2014) will oppose Kansas City left-hander Jason Vargas (11-10, 3.71 ERA) at Angel Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.

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