"Was that a sick jump, or what?" speedy center fielder
With the score tied, 2-2, Pujols snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a sharp single to left field off reliever
When Betancourt, pitching from the stretch, came to a set position before his next pitch, Pujols took off for second and was three or four steps toward the next base when the right-hander, who never saw Pujols go, threw to the plate.
Pujols stole second without a throw. Freese struck out, but
"As much as we've been struggling, especially myself, you try to do whatever it takes to take that extra base — it's a lot easier to score from second than first," Pujols said. "Whatever I can do to help this club, I do.
"I know a lot of people look at the big things, like home runs, but the little things sometimes win games, like taking an extra base, playing good defense. If, at the end of the night, you've helped your team win, that's what matters to me."
It was the 99th career stolen base for Pujols, who is one stolen base shy of joining Babe Ruth,
"That would be a great accomplishment," Pujols said. "I don't go as much as I used to because of injuries. Maybe I'll get to 100 and shut it down for the rest of my career. I don't steal a base just to get a base. I try to do it in key situations where I can help the team win."
The eighth inning Tuesday night was definitely one of those situations.
"He's trying to make things happen," Trout said. "I guess he had something on that pitcher, that he only looked over once or whatever. He's tried it before. It was pretty impressive. For sure, it sparked us. No one expected that when he got to first base. But it was a big play in the game for us."
So was Giavotella's big hit, which is becoming par for the course for the 5-foot-8, 185-pound second baseman who is batting .283 with 13 runs batted in on the season.
“He’s a great little player, he’s exciting,” Pujols said of Giavotella. “He reminds me a lot of
Giavotella said the key to coming up big in big situations is "trying to dial it down even more. The pressure is on the pitcher. I can't put any pressure on myself. I stick to my approach, which is to get a good pitch to hit, hit line drives up the middle, not try to do too much, stick to my strengths.