ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Albert Pujols' two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
Pujols' home run likely buoyed the Angels' spirits as well, as Los Angeles appeared destined for yet another loss to a sub-.500 team on the heels of being swept in by the Houston Astros the previous four-game series. However, instead of a five-game losing streak and more head-scratching, the Angels earned their first win in June.
The game-winning blow, Pujols' ninth home run of the season, came off Carlos Villanueva (1-4), costing starter Scott Feldman a win. Feldman pitched a solid game, giving up two runs and six hits in six innings. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his 11 starts this season.
Angels starter Jered Weaver, making his second start since returning from a broken bone in his left (non-throwing) elbow, gave up three runs (one earned) and six hits in six innings. He threw 95 pitches, struck out five, walked one and was the victim of his defense.
Normally reliable third baseman Alberto Callaspo's error on a slow roller by David DeJesus to start the third inning resulted in two unearned runs for the Cubs and a 3-1 lead. Callaspo has made four errors in the past three games after making only one error all season before then.
The Angels, however, rallied. Howie Kendrick, who had three hits, drove in Josh Hamilton (double) in the seventh to make it 3-2, knocking Feldman out of the game. In the eighth, Erick Aybar singled and went to second on Mike Trout's fly out to deep center, setting up Pujols' heroics.
Angels reliever Robert Coello (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Weaver hit Luis Valbuena with a pitch with one out in the first inning and it wound up costing him. Anthony Rizzo's single moved Valbuena to second and with two outs, Nate Schierholtz singled home Valbuena for a 1-0 Cubs lead.
The Angels tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the first but missed a chance for more against Feldman. Aybar led off with a double and went to third when Trout beat out a routine grounder to short for an infield single. Trout then stole second. Pujols drove home Aybar with a sacrifice fly to tie the score, but Trout never moved past second base the rest of the inning.
NOTES: Angels CF Peter Bourjos, recovering from a strained left hamstring, started for Class A Inland Empire as the designated hitter on Tuesday in his rehab assignment. Bourjos likely will get another start in center field for Inland Empire on Wednesday before playing a few games at Triple-A Salt Lake. He could return to the major league roster by Monday. ... Angels RF Josh Hamilton was back in the starting lineup, and he went 1-for-4. Hamilton began the night with a .333 average in nine career games against the Cubs. ... Rizzo is hitting .303 (10-for-33) in his past nine games, which follows a six-game skid in which he went 0-for-23. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro was dropped to the No. 7 spot in the batting order by manager Dale Sveum for Tuesday's game. Castro hit .100 (2-for-20) on the just-concluded five-game homestand against the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. He went 0-for-4, and he's hitting .253 overall.