The first home run for Pujols came in the fifth inning against left-hander Wes Benjamin of, the 661st of his career to pass Mays.
We live in the most prolific home run era in baseball history, but it’s still jaw dropping to be able to watch an active player who ranks in the top five of any significant stat in major league history.
This milestone for Pujols came just four games after tying Mays last Sunday in Colorado. It was a much shorter wait this time for Pujols, who went 22 games in between homers 659 and 660.
Pujols’ solo shot gave the Angels a 2-0 lead over the Rangers, and was one of his three hits on the night. He also led off the seventh inning with a solo homer, this one off DeMarcus Evans.
It’s the first multi-homer game of the season for Pujols, and the 60th of his career.
That was all the support Jaime Barria needed. The right-hander had his best start of the season against the Rangers, pitching scoreless baseball into the seventh before Texas got to him for a pair of runs.
With the win, the Angels closed to within 3½ games of the Astros for second place in the division, which earns a playoff spot this year, with eight games remaining (Houston has nine games left).
The Angels elimination number is six, but to secure second place they would need to pass Seattle and have 12 of 17 outcomes (in Angels and Astros games) go their way the rest of the way.
Home runs: Albert Pujols 2 (6)
WP — Jaime Barria (1-0): 6⅓ IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 8 strikeouts
LP — Wes Benjamin (1-1): 4 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Andrew Heaney makes his final home start of the season on Saturday night (6:10 p.m., Fox Sports West), facing off against Lance Lynn for Texas.