Big League Stew

The Juice: Albert Pujols homers twice in Angels win, White Sox overcome King Felix in windy Chicago

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

View gallery

.

(AP)

The Juice returns for season No. 6! It's almost eligible for free-agency! Stop by daily for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more.

Albert comes alive: We won't have to worry about another homerless April for Albert Pujols. The Los Angeles Angels slugger muscled up twice in their 8-4 victory over the Rangers, pacing an offensive attack that also received home runs from Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos.

In a historical twist, Pujols was also intentionally walked three times in the game. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, that makes him the first player in American League history to homer twice and receive three intentional passes in a single game, and the third in MLB history.

His own outburst definitely played a role in the Rangers strategy. As did the struggles of Josh Hamilton, whose 0 for 4 dropped him to 1 for 20 (.050) on the season with 10 strikeouts to boot.

''I think it was a smart move,'' said Hamilton. ''Albert was dominating today, obviously. If I was in their situation, I would have done the same thing.''

Chances are the situation will dictate more of the same on Sunday.

King overthrown and blown over: On a day the Windy City lived up to its unusual nickname (which may or may not have to do with actual wind), the Chicago White Sox put up a four spot on Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and held on tight (literally and figuratively) as Dylan Axelrod and five relievers brought home the 4-3 victory.

The biggest swing of the game for Chicago came in the sixth when Alex Rios connected — on an 0-2 pitch no less — and managed to drive it through the teeth of those strong winds for a two-run homer.

''The way the wind was blowing today, there's no chance you can predict what the ball's going to do or how the wind's going to react,'' Rios said. ''You're just hoping to put good swings on the ball and then hopefully they fall.''

When they fall on the other side of the fence that's always the best. Seattle got a two-run homer of their own from Michael Saunders in the eighth, but that wasn't enough. Addison Reed pitched perfect ninth for his third save.

Royals gonna Royal: Coming off a series opener in which they scored 13 unanswered runs, the Royals had to feel pretty good about their chances to win a road series when they entered the ninth inning on Saturday leading 3-1.

Three Greg Holland walks later, that feeling was all but gone as Philadelphia had loaded the bases with nobody out, but the roller coaster of emotions evened out quickly as Holland then recovered to strikeout Domonic Brown and John Mayberry. That meant the game was going to come down to career pinch-hitter and utilityman Kevin Frandsen.

I'm sure you can guess how this ends. Frandsen laces a double to plate Chase Utley, Ezequiel Carrera and Michael Young as the Phillies flat out steal a 4-3 victory.

Kershaw still spotless: There was no way Clayton Kershaw could top pitching a shutout and hitting a home run like opening day, but he came pretty darn close. The Dodgers Cy Young winner tossed seven innings of two-hit ball and combined with three relievers on a 1-0 shutout of the Pirates.

''My glove was down, my head was down the ball just went right through my legs. Just one of those things.'' — Chris Davis on his error that led to the winning run in Minnesota's 6-5 victory over Baltimore.

Davis also went homerless in four plate appearances but did drive in a run in his fifth straight. He may be somewhat human after all.

MORE SCORES

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0 (Poor John Lackey is injured again)

Mets 7, Marlins 3 (New York's offense goes Buck-wild)

Nationals 7, Reds 6 in 11 (Nats bounce back after 15-0 loss on Friday. Reds fan steals show)

Braves 6, Cubs 5 (Upton here, Upton there)

Cardinals 6, Giants 3 (Shelby Miller impressive in season debut)

Tigers 8, Yankees 4 (Four-hit game for Miggy)

Diamondbacks 9, Brewers 2 (D-Backs pound out 16 hits and three homers)

A's 6, Astros 3 (Bartolo Colon wins first start after PED suspension)

Rays 6, Indians 0 (Back-to-back shutout for Tampa)

Rockies 6, Padres 3 (Colorado is 4-1... seriously)

View gallery

.

(Getty)

Just Buster Posey and his friends Willie McCovey and Willie Mays. No big deal.

• Through five games, the Dodgers starting shortstops and third basemen are a combined 0 for 33.

Courtesy of David Cameron, 19 major league teams have scored more runs than the Pirates have hits this season.

• Saturday was the 40th birthday of the designated hitter. How did you celebrate?

Looking for more baseball chatter?
Follow @bigleaguestew, @Townie813, @AnswerDave and @MikeOz on Twitter
Also, check out the BLS Facebook Page

View Comments