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Angels 7, Nationals 2

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WASHINGTON -- First baseman Albert Pujols hit two homers to reach 500 for his career and drove in five runs as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Tuesday before 21,915 fans, most of whom gave a nice ovation to Pujols after he crushed his second homer in the fifth inning after hitting a 3-run homer in the first.

Pujols took over the American League lead in homers with eight and has gone deep 24 times with 50 RBIs in 67 games against the Nationals. The slugger has 18 RBIs in his last 13 games and has driven in at least one run in his first nine starts this season.

Washington manager Matt Williams was asked earlier this week if 500 homers would be significant for Pujols.

"It's huge. That's a lot of balls over the fence," said Williams, who hit 378 career homers and was teammates with Barry Bonds in San Francisco. "What stands out to me is the ability to be a .300 (career) hitter with power."

The Pujols milestone came one night after young stars Mike Trout of the Angels and Bryce Harper of the Nationals met for the first time in regular-season play. The two outfielders combined to go 1-for-9 with five strikeouts Tuesday. Harper fanned to end the game.

The Angels made it 7-2 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by David Freese, the third baseman.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (2-0) allowed just three hits and two runs in seven innings to pick up the victory. Washington's Taylor Jordan (0-3), who gave up six runs (four earned), was tagged with the loss. The Angels have now won five straight games at Nationals Park while Washington lost eight of its last 12 games.

First baseman Albert Pujols hit the 500th homer of his career when he lined a 1-2 pitch from right-hander Taylor Jordan over the wall in center to give the Angels a 6-2 lead in the top of the fifth.

Pujols' teammates came out of the third base dugout to meet him at home plate and he received a nice round of applause from the home crowd at Nationals Park. Pujols became the 26th player to hit 500 in his career and the first since Gary Sheffield in 2009.

The Angels scored four runs in the first as Pujols hit the 499th homer of his career -- a three-run shot just inside the left field foul pole -- with no outs against Jordan.

The Angels made it 4-0 later in the inning as catcher Chris Iannetta, hitting .190 at game time, singled to drive in a run.

The Angels entered the day leading the majors in first-inning runs with 20 and have now outscored their opponents 24-6 this season in the opening inning. Pujols struck out in the second.

The Nationals cut the lead to 4-2 in the third against starter Tyler Skaggs as catcher Sandy Leon, who led off with a double, scored on a wild pitch and Jordan, who had reached on a bunt single, scored on a double-play groundout by right fielder Jayson Werth.

Jordan, in his 13th career start, allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings before Craig Stammen came on to pitch the sixth. Skaggs, making his 17th career start for the Angels, gave up two runs and three hits in the first five innings.

NOTES: With a left-hander starting for the Angels, Washington manager Matt Williams gave Adam LaRoche the day off and moved young 3B Anthony Rendon into the cleanup spot. It was the first time that he had batted cleanup in the majors. ... The Nationals called up RHP Aaron Barrett from Triple-A Syracuse and sent LHP Xavier Cedeno to the Chiefs. Barrett made the Opening Day roster for the first time and did not allow a run in six outings out of the bullpen for the Nationals. ... The Angels led at some point in seven of their first 10 losses this season. ... The scheduled starters for the series finale on Wednesday are Angels RHP Jered Weaver (1-2, 4.74 ERA) against Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.88).
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