Albert Pujols did not allow the Angels to be swept by a middling Pittsburgh Pirates team on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. The veteran first baseman had two hits and drove in three runs in the Angels’ 7-4 victory.
While at it, he became the all-time hits leader among players born outside the United States with 3,168, eclipsing Adrian Beltre’s record by two hits.
The Angels won for only the fifth time in 19 games.
Rookie Luis Rengifo almost stole the show from Pujols. His Little League homer in the fourth provided the Angels a 4-2 lead. He dashed out of the left-handed batter’s box, covering 29.2 feet per second on his sprint around the bases. He outpaced the MLB average, which is tracked by MLB’s Statcast system, by 2.2 feet per second.
But Pujols’ two-run hit in the eighth inning – a dribbler that sneaked into center field against a drawn-in infield – padded the Angels’ cushion to 6-3.
Dillon Peters became the Angels’ first starting pitcher to earn a victory since Griffin Canning on July 30. He had to overcome a shaky beginning to do it.
Peters walked or hit the first three batters he faced, loading the bases for Josh Bell. The Pirates slugger grounded into a double play, but a run scored. A second crossed the plate on Melky Cabrera’s single.
Peters retired the next four Pirates but command issues crept back. He hit Kevin Newman to start the third. The Angels were still two innings away from erasing their deficit. The mistake could have been costly. Instead, Newman was thrown out trying to steal second base. Peters was relieved of the threat.
The left-handed Peters allowed only two runs on four hits over six innings.
Source:: Daily Times