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Albert Pujols up to No. 10 in homers, Los Angeles Angels top Toronto Blue Jays

By
The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols (5). Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols (5). Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

TORONTO -- The Los Angeles Angels are not going anywhere this season, but Albert Pujols keeps moving up.

The Angels designated hitter had four hits, including the 584th home run of his career, and three RBIs on Wednesday in Los Angeles' 8-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The home run moved him past Mark McGwire and into 10th place in the all-time list.

"Albert just keeps going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's approaching 100 RBIs (99 after Wednesday). He's in the middle of our lineup virtually every day. He got some big hits tonight."

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Mike Trout also homered, and Jett Bandy had a career-best four hits for the Angels (53-73), who ended an 11-game road losing streak.

Pujols did not talk to the media after the game, but Trout did.

"That's pretty special," the center fielder said. "Obviously he and McGwire were teammates, they know each other well. It's pretty special for him.

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"He's done it his whole career. He hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. He's still putting up numbers, still driving in 100. It's fun to watch, for sure."

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Matt Shoemaker (8-13) held the Blue Jays to three hits and a walk while striking out three over six scoreless innings to win his second consecutive start.

The Blue Jays (71-55) remained tied for first in the American League East with the Boston Red Sox, who lost 4-3 in 11 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

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Toronto starter Marco Estrada (7-6) allowed 10 hits, three walks and six runs in five innings.

"I thought I made good pitches, but they must have seen something. They were all over it," Estrada said. "I felt pretty good out there, just the way it goes sometimes."

Estrada was pitching on seven days' rest with the Blue Jays employing a six-man rotation and due to days off in the schedule.

In eight starts on the regular four days of rest this season, he is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA. In his previous 13 starts on longer rest before Wednesday, he was 4-5 with an ERA of nearly 4.00.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons did not want to discuss the possible fallout of the six-man rotation, which was reduced to five again after Aaron Sanchez was optioned Sunday to Class A Dunedin, not to return until Aug. 31.

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"Who the heck knows?" Gibbons said when asked if the extra time off hurt Estrada. "I don't know, you don't know. We've got to move on from that, it's getting a little tiring (talking about it). There's got to be more to the game than that. I choose to be optimistic and look forward.

"It was one of those games they outplayed us in every phase. It's not the first one, it won't be the last."

Trout and Pujols hit back-to-back homers with one out in the first. It was the 24th homer of the season for each.

"I went back and looked at some of the hits I gave up, made good pitches," Estrada said. "Got two of the best hitters on one team and made good pitches to them, and they hit them out."

The Angels scored three runs in the second to take a 5-0 lead.

Bandy led off with a single, and Cliff Pennington walked with one out. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double to right. Trout was intentionally walked, Pujols hit a sacrifice fly to center, and C.J. Cron hit an RBI single.

Cron added an RBI in the fourth when the Blue Jays barely failed to turn a 3-6-1 double play on his one-out grounder to first base as Calhoun scored. That padded the Angels' lead to 6-0.

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Calhoun had walked with one out, and he went second on an infield single by Trout. Calhoun advanced to third on a single by Pujols that appeared to be a routine shallow fly, but left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. lost track of the ball, possibly in the twilight, and it dropped in front of him.

Scott Feldman replaced Estrada in the sixth, pitching around a walk and a single. However, the right-handed reliever allowed a run in the seventh on a walk to Nick Buss and singles by Bandy and Kaleb Cowart.

Trout and Pujols doubled in the eighth against Aaron Loup to pad the Angels' lead.

Russell Martin had an RBI single against JC Ramirez in the bottom of the eighth for Toronto's first run.

Angels right-hander Deolis Guerra allowed three hits, including an RBI single by Ezequiel Carrera, in the bottom of the ninth.

NOTES: Blue Jays 2B Devon Travis (strained ligament ring finger) missed his second straight game Wednesday after taking a cortisone injection Tuesday in the knuckle of the ring finger of the right hand. INF Darwin Barney started at second base for the second game in a row. Travis said the finger feels better, and he hopes to return Thursday. ... Angels RHP Huston Street (right knee) had season-ending arthroscopic surgery Wednesday for a torn meniscus. Street last pitched July 31. The closer is the sixth Angels player to undergo season-ending surgery. The Angels have used 48 players this season, including 12 starting pitchers. ... Toronto LHP J.A. Happ (17-3, 3.05 ERA) will oppose Los Angeles RHP Jered Weaver (8-11, 5.47 ERA) in the series finale Thursday.

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