ARLINGTON, Texas -- The boo birds continued to rain down in Josh Hamilton's return to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as a member of the Los Angeles Angels on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
The Angels (2-3) silenced the sold-out crowd by winning 8-4 over the Texas Rangers (3-2), however, ending a three-game skid on the back of two Albert Pujols home runs.
The Angels scored four-runs in the first inning off two-run home runs from Pujols and Mark Trumbo, repectively, on the way to pushing five across the plate in the first two innings. Los Angeles would add another pair of home runs in the sixth, including Pujols' second of the game.
Hamilton's highly anticipated return to Texas continued to favor his former club as the right fielder struck out twice, putting his total to four in the series through two games. Ranger's General Manager Ron Washington chose to intentionally walk Pujols on three occasions to get to the right-hander, a move that paid off for Washington, as Hamilton went down swinging twice, and popped out in the eighth.
The Angels wasted little time getting to Rangers starter Matt Harrison. Pujols followed up a double from Erick Aybar with a blast that had little trouble clearing the center field wall for his first home run of the year. The damage then continued after Hamilton reached on a walk when Mark Trumbo homered to right for a 4-0 lead. Alberto Callaspo looked to get in on the action with a long fly ball, but his bid fell short at the center field warning track.
Back-to-back singles to start the second helped get Los Angeles on the board for a second consecutive inning when Chris Iannetta would come in to score on an Erick Aybar sacrifice fly.
Texas countered with a two-home run inning of its own in the third. Mitch Moreland sent a 2-2 pitch deep to right field, sailing into the second deck and missing the roof by a few feet. Two batters later, Ian Kinsler knocked a two-out home run into the Los Angeles bullpen to cut the lead to 5-2.
Los Angeles pushed to extend its lead back to four in the fifth. Howard Kendrick attempted to score from first on a double from Callaspo that bounced off of the top of the left field wall. David Murphy and Elvis Andrus combined for a great relay to throw Kendrick out at the plate.
Peter Bourjos joined the home run party for the games fifth home run. Bourjos sent the second pitch of the sixth over the left field fence for a lead-off home run.
The teams conclude the series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. with Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00) making his first appearance since coming within one out of his first-career perfect game. Darvish squares off against Jered Weaver (0-0, 1.50).