By Pete Zarustica
The big landmark – Albert Pujols getting his 3,000th hit – didn’t happen on Thursday night in Anaheim, but there were other pleasant numbers to reflect on.
In sweeping the three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles the Los Angeles Angels crushed the O’s 12-3. That put the Halos’ record at 19-12, allowing them to slip back in first place in the American League West, just a few percentage points ahead of the Houston Astros (20-13) and a half-game ahead of the Seattle Mariners (18-12), whom they play on Friday.
The newly-awakened Angel offense banged 15 hits around the Big A. The team scored five runs in the first, three more in the second and four in the fourth for a 12-run lead halfway through the game. There were no home runs, but five extra base hits, including a two-run double by Pujols that put him at 2,999 hits.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to happen one of these days,” Pujols said. “It’s not about me – this is about our organization and our team.”
The team looked good on Thursday, especially in the starting pitching department. Jaime Barria, who is bouncing back and forth from AAA to the Angels, pitched a strong game, working six innings and giving up four hits and two runs. He struck out two and walked two.
In the hitting department, the biggest numbers were put up by Justin Upton with three hits (including a double), three runs scored and one driven in. Andrelton Simmons had two hits and three RBIs, and Luis Valbuena three hits and three RBIs.
The series with the Mariners Friday night will begin with Garrett Richards (3-1) on the mound for the Halos.