LA Angels 7, Philadelphia 1
When: 10:07 PM ET, Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
Quinn Wolcott, 1B -
Brian O'Nora, 2B -
Ben May, 3B -
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Whether he is in the middle of a mild slump or crushing the ball from line to line, Albert Pujols doesn't change his approach.
"I don't think about it, it's as simple as that," Pujols said after driving in five runs Tuesday night while leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
"This game challenges you," said the 37-year-old veteran and owner of 608 career home runs. "You just have to stay mentally strong."
Pujols was 0-for-24 on the first five games of the Angels' recent road trip, then burst out Sunday at Toronto, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs. He was 3-for-4 on Tuesday.
He was miffed that the slump made some news.
"I don't care what you guys (in the media) say or write," he said. "I play for God, family and friends. Instead of asking about struggles, focus on the positive."
Pujols ripped a fifth-inning double down the right field line against Phils starter Aaron Nola (8-7) to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.
Asked if he looked for a pitch to drive to right, Pujols said: "No, I just closed my eyes and hit it the other way."
With two on and two outs in the seventh, he pulled a hanging breaking ball from Mark Leiter Jr. down the left field line for a three-run homer.
"Albert had a tough start to the road trip," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He hit some balls hard and had nothing to show for it. When he's locked in like he was tonight, he can carry a team on his shoulders."
"I wish Scioscia had given Albert the night off," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
The win moved the Angels (52-55) four games behind the Royals (55-50) for the second American League wild-card spot. However, three other teams are between Kansas City and Los Angeles.
Angels starter Ricky Nolasco (5-12) allowed just one run on six hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five and stranded seven runners.
"Ricky improvised tonight," Scioscia said of Nolasco. "He kind of scratched and clawed and made some big pitches with two out."
The Phillies missed a great opportunity in the seventh against reliever Keynan Middleton. Andrew Knapp hit a line drive that left fielder Ben Revere misjudged, taking a step in before realizing it was over his head for a double.
Cesar Hernandez followed with a grounder to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who looked at Knapp before throwing to first. Hernandez initially was called out, but the Phillies challenged the call, which was reversed after a replay review.
Middleton rallied from the situation, getting Freddy Galvis to fly to center, striking out Aaron Altherr on a foul tip and catching Tommy Joseph looking on a 93 mph fastball.
Nola allowed eight hits, a walk and two runs in six innings, his eighth consecutive start allowing two runs or fewer. The Philadelphia offense didn't provide much help, leaving nine on base in the game.
"He pitched very well," Mackanin said. "We just stranded too many runners. After winning five straight, we didn't swing the bat very well."
NOTES: Angels 3B Yunel Escobar left the game after grabbing his back after a swing in the seventh inning ... The Angels recalled RHP Eduardo Parades and OF Ramon Flores from Triple-A Salt Lake, and they optioned RHP Brooks Pounders to Salt Lake. Flores was recalled with RF Kole Calhoun sidelined temporarily due to a strained right hamstring. ... Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs had a 4 2/3-inning rehab start for Salt Lake on Monday, allowing five hits and walking three. The Angels are expected to activate him from the disabled list in time to start Saturday's game against Oakland. ... Angels RHP Huston Street is likely done for the season after sustaining a mild rotator cuff strain, his third injury of the season. ... Phillies RHP Drew Anderson was recalled from Double-A Reading. ... Phils RHP Pedro Beato was placed on the 10-day DL due to a hamstring strain. He pitched in one game since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
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