Pujols back in the zone in 7-1 victory

ALBERT PUJOLS hit a three-run home run as the Angels defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (Flickr/Eric Proust).

By Pete Zarustica

Albert Pujols has hit a lot of home runs, but in his tenure with the Los Angeles Angels, many of them came with the bases empty. Well, when he hit his 608th career homer on Tuesday, it occurred with two runners on as the Halos beat the Phillies 7-1 in Anaheim.

His “big fly” in the bottom of the seventh inning broke open a tight 2-1 game. He finished the night with three hits: a single, a double and his 17th homer of the season. He had three RBIs and raised his batting average to .238.

“He had a tough beginning of that road trip,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, referring to an 0-for-24 streak. “He hit some balls hard, and not much to show for it, but this is what Albert can do. When he gets locked in, he’s not missing pitches. He can put a team on his shoulders and carry them.”

Ricky Nolasco (5-12) got the win. He pitched well in this outing, lasting six innings and yielding six hits and one run. He struck out five batters and walked two.

Aside from Pujols, the big bats on Tuesday were Mike Trout – two hits, two runs scored and a walk – and Ben Revere, who had a pair of singles.

The win improved the Angels’ record to 52-55, worth third place in the American League West. The Halos are four games back in the race for an AL wild card spot.

On Wednesday, J.C. Ramirez (9-9) makes the start for the Orange County team.

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