Albert Pujols had a two-run double for his 2,999th career hit, and Luis Valbuena and Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs apiece in the Los Angeles Angels‘ 12-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
Pujols did not get a hit in his final three plate appearances after moving to the brink of the 3,000-hit club in the second inning. The slugger had hoped to reach the milestone in front of his Angel Stadium fans, who stood in unison each time he came up.
But after getting hit by a 2-2 pitch in the fourth and being retired on a foul popup in the sixth, Pujols flied out to right in the eighth inning in his final chance. The slugger will attempt to become the 32nd member of the 3,000-hit club Friday in Seattle.
The Angels didn’t need any more offense from Pujols while sweeping the three-game series and scoring 25 runs against Baltimore’s beleaguered pitching staff. Valbuena and Justin Upton had three hits apiece to lead Los Angeles’ 15-hit attack.
Mike Trout started the bonanza with a run-scoring triple during a five-run first inning, and he added an RBI single in the three-run second to chase Chris Tillman (1-5).
Angels rookie right-hander Jaime Barria (2-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his third career start, finishing with six innings of four-hit ball.
Pujols doubled against Miguel Castro in the second inning, scoring Trout and Upton to put the Angels ahead 8-0. Simmons then got a two-run double and Valbuena added a two-run single in the fourth for a 12-0 lead.
Manny Machado drove in two runs for the last-place Orioles, who have lost 15 of 18.
Tillman got only three outs while yielding seven hits and seven runs in a disastrous start in his hometown.
While the stadium focused on Pujols’ quest, Barria dominated the Orioles’ lineup. The 21-year-old Panamanian prospect didn’t allow a hit until Trey Mancini’s one-out single in the sixth.
Barria is in his third stint with the Angels this season, coming up and down from Triple-A Salt Lake to patch the holes in Los Angeles’ injury-plagued rotation. The right-hander worked quickly and efficiently against the Orioles’ struggling lineup, allowing only two walks in the first four innings.
Baltimore strung together four singles and scored two runs in the sixth, but Barria pitched his way out of the inning and left to a standing ovation.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani went 2 for 3 with two singles and a walk, scoring two runs and driving in another. The Japanese two-way sensation had the fifth multihit game of his rookie season.
Orioles: Chance Sisco was back behind the plate after leaving Tuesday’s game when his head collided with Pedro Alvarez’s elbow while they chased a foul popup. Sisco said he had a facial bruise, but no concussion symptoms.
Angels: The starting rotation is still a carousel thanks to early season injuries for Matt Shoemaker, J.C. Ramirez and Nick Tropeano, among others. Barria came up to take a turn, and the Angels sent OF Ryan Schimpf back to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (1-4, 4.76 ERA) takes the mound for the opener of a weekend series in Oakland.
Angels: Garrett Richards (3-1, 3.58 ERA) looks to rebound from a miserable start last weekend against the Yankees when the Angels open a series at Seattle. Richards hasn’t faced the Mariners since 2015.
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