By Pete Zarustica
There’s still some life in the “old guy” yet.
Albert Pujols, who started off the 2017 season with a now-typical slow start, is flashing the same form that puts him on the track to a spot in the Hall of Fame. In the 11th inning of Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, he doubled in a run, stole third base and scored from there as the Los Angeles Angels won, 6-4.
It was their eighth win in 10 games and put their record at 15-13, worth second place in the American League West, 3.5 games behind the Houston Astros. The Angels will host them in Anaheim later this week.
Pujols, who was batting under .200 a week and a half ago, has hit .340 over the past 11 games to raise his average to .248. He ended up with three hits Tuesday.
“I don’t take this game for granted,” Pujols said. “Any opportunity I can to put myself in a position to help this ballclub to win, that’s what I’m here for, and that’s what I did. If you can steal one run, that’s two runs that they’re going to have to score to tie or three to win it, so those are chances that you need to take.”
Pujols was not the only Angel hero Tuesday night. Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the eight which gave the Angels a temporary 4-3 lead. Mike Trout, was, well, Mike Trout. He doubled, walked three times and scored a run. His batting average is now .363.
Matt Shoemaker had a rough start, lasting 5.1 innings and giving up three runs on four hits. He struck out five but walked four. Starting for the Halos on Wednesday will be Ricky Nolasco (2-2).