ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead, two-run home run, and C.J. Cron and pinch-hitter David Freese also homered against the Houston bullpen in the Angels’ eight-run seventh inning as Los Angeles beat the Astros 11-5 on Saturday night for their ninth straight home win.
Pujols’ 511th homer tied him with Mel Ott for 23rd place on baseball’s career list.
Houston starter Scott Feldman left after six innings with a 5-2 lead and was replaced by Anthony Bass (1-1).
Cron greeted Bass with a leadoff single before Freese batted for John McDonald and hit his first homer in 124 career at-bats at Angel Stadium and first in the majors as a pinch-hitter.
Kole Calhoun followed with a single for his third hit of the game. Bass retired Mike Trout before Pujols drove out the next pitch for his 19th homer. He is one away from tying Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews on the career list.
Tony Sipp, who surrendered Trout’s walkoff homer in the ninth inning of the Astros’ 7-6 loss on Friday, gave up a walk to Josh Hamilton and an RBI double to Erick Aybar. After an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick, Josh Zeid came on and yielded Cron’s three-run homer.
Trout, the 14th Angels batter in the seventh, struck out against Sipp with the bases loaded to end the team’s most productive inning of the season after 55 minutes and 74 pitches.
Michael Roth (1-0) pitched two perfect innings of relief for the victory after rejoining the Angels from the minors earlier Saturday. Los Angeles is a season-best 14 games over .500 and remains 3 1-2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
Angels lefty Hector Santiago gave up five runs, six hits and three walks in five innings of his 11th start of a season in which he has been demoted to the bullpen and to the minors. He is 0-7, and his ERA jumped from 4.08 to 4.50.
Feldman allowed two runs on six hits and struck out five without walking a batter. Chris Carter hit a grand slam for Houston.
The Astros, who came in with an AL-worst .235 batting average, scored five runs in the third after the Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on Pujols’ RBI single.
Jason Castro tied it with an RBI double before Santiago hit George Springer on the left leg and gave up a single to Matt Dominguez. That set the stage for Carter, who also homered on Friday.
Carter slammed his 15th homer of the season and second career grand slam.
NOTES: Pujols hit his 542nd career double in the ninth, overtaking Rogers Hornsby for 30th place. … The Angels became the fourth team to reach the 50-win mark, joining the A’s, Brewers and Dodgers. … Freese’s homer was the first by an Angels pinch-hitter since Chris Iannetta’s solo shot on Sept. 4, 2013. … Roth was selected to the major league roster to replace LHP Rich Hill, who was designated for assignment. … Former Angels 3B Troy Glaus, who hit a franchise record 47 home runs in 2000 and was the 2002 World Series MVP, threw a ceremonial first pitch. … The Angels optioned RHP Cory Rasmus to Triple-A Salt Lake, after obtaining LHP Joe Thatcher and OF Tony Campana from Arizona in a trade that sent OF Zach Borenstein and RHP Joey Krehbiel to the Diamondbacks.