WASHINGTON — On a night that was supposed to be a showcase for the transcendent talents of two of baseball's brightest young stars —
"I don't think about stuff like that, but it's a really valid point," Ibanez said, when asked if there was any irony in the fact that he upstaged the first Trout-Harper matchup. "Those guys are two young studs, and Trout is possibly the best player I've ever seen in this game.
"But these guys make me feel young. I have five kids, all 12 and under, and I'm the biggest kid in the house, so I feel right at home around these guys who are 22, 23, 24 and 25. It's a lot of fun. They keep me knowing what songs are good, so I can always stay young listening to their music."
Ibanez had a similar hit April 12, a score-tying, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the
Manager Matt Williams had three left-handers in his bullpen, but he stuck with Clippard, whose effective changeup has helped him limit left-handers to a .182 career average.
But Ibanez, who was three for nine with two home runs against Clippard, hit a changeup to deep left-center field to clear the bases and end a 1-1 tie.
"Raul has been around the block, he knows the batter's box, and he has the experience," Manager
The Angels were trailing, 1-0, going into the eighth, and their offense was in deep hibernation, with only three runs and 20 hits in 99 at-bats (.202) in the previous 28 innings. Players seemed to be pressing to make up for the loss of injured cleanup batter
Then Pujols reached on shortstop
"I knew if I could get a good jump, I could steal the bag," Pujols said. "You have to take a chance in this game. You can't play this sport scared."
The stolen base eliminated a force play at second base and allowed Pujols to take third on
Pujols also helped pitcher
"I'm a two-time Gold Glover," Pujols said. "Any time I can help my team, whether it's stealing a base, making a play, hitting a home run, getting a hit, getting hit by a pitch — any way you can contribute to a win, that's the most important thing."