AT THE PLATE: J.B. Shuck led off the game with a double to left field and Mike Trout reached on an error ahead of Albert Pujols’ three-run home run. Howie Kendrick, who had two hits, doubled to right-center field in the first and scored on Chris Iannetta’s two-out single to left for a 4-0 lead. Trout singled ahead of Pujols’ 500th home run, in the fifth, and Erick Aybar, who had three hits Monday night, doubled to left for his second hit, stole second and scored on David Freese’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.
ON THE MOUND: Tyler Skaggs (2-0) struggled with his control but gave up only two runs and three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking four. The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning, and one run scored on a wild pitch. But Skaggs minimized the damage to two runs by inducing Jayson Werth to ground into a double play and getting Ian Desmond to pop out with runners on first and third to end the inning. Michael Kohn threw a scoreless eighth in his team-high 11th appearance, and Kevin Jepsen pitched a scoreless ninth.
LOW-KEY CELEBRATION: There was no on-field ceremony and virtually no fanfare or delay after Pujols hit his 500th home run, which is how the slugger wanted it. “I saw all these guys coming out of the dugout, and it was hard,” Pujols said. “I told them we have a game to win, and you don’t want to disrespect the other club.”
EXTRA BASES: The Angels improved to 10-10 overall and 3-2 on a grueling trip to Detroit, Washington and New York. They were 8-12 through 20 games last season.
UP NEXT: Right-hander Jered Weaver (1-2, 4.74 ERA) will oppose Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.88) at Nationals Park on Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.