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.
But the Angels silenced the sold-out crowd by beating Texas Rangers 8-4, ending a three-game skid on the back of two home runs by Albert Pujols.
The Angels scored four runs in the first inning off two-run home runs from Pujols and Mark Trumbo on the way to pushing five across the plate in the first two innings. Los Angeles added another pair of home runs in the sixth, including Pujols' second of the game.
"It's good to see these guys hit their stride," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Albert hit the ball hard in the Cincinnati series and hard in the game last night. He was on base every time and hit two home runs. I thought we executed at the plate better."
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 through two games. 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.
"It depends on the situation," Washington said. "Hamilton is not swinging the bat well right now. When we didn't walk him, you saw what happened."
Texas had just one hit from each of its nine starters while the Angels grabbed a total of 12. Pujols, Trumbo, Mike Trout and Alberto Callaspo all had two hits for the Angels.
Pujols had two opportunities to swing the bat and became the first player in American League history to be intentionally walked twice and have two home runs in the same game.
"I came out relaxed," Pujols said. "We know what we can do swinging the bat up and down the lineup. We know it's a long season, but we want to get going early. We know that this is a big series and the last thing that you want to do is take these games for granted."
The two-homer game was Pujols' 45th, second among active players.
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 continued after Hamilton reached on a walk when Trumbo homered to right for a 4-0 lead. 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 came in to score on Erick Aybar's 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.
The two runs were the only two allowed by Angels starter Tommy Hanson, who struck out four in his Los Angeles debut.
"Tommy did a great job," Scioscia said. "He pitched a terrific game by getting through six. He made two mistakes on hanging a slider to Moreland and left one out over the plate to Ian."
Los Angeles nearly extended its lead back to four in the fifth. Howard Kendrick attempted to score from first on a double from Callaspo that bounced off 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 game's fifth home run. He sent the second pitch of the sixth over the left-field fence for a leadoff home run.
The teams conclude the series Sunday night, with Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00) making his first appearance since coming within one out of a perfect game. Darvish squares off against Jered Weaver (0-0, 1.50).
NOTES: RHP Jered Weaver (0-0, 1.50) will start against the Rangers on Sunday. He threw six innings on Opening Day vs. Cincinnati, allowing one earned run on two hits, while striking out four. ... RHP Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00) will start Sunday against the Angels. He was just one out away from his first perfect game in his last outing Tuesday against the Houston Astros. Darvish struck out a career-high 14. . . . OF Josh Hamilton's family was placed in a suite following Friday's game in which added security was requested from the Angels. ... C A.J. Pierzynski was awarded his 2012 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger award before the game by former Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Pierzynski won his first Silver Slugger with the Chicago White Sox last year. Pierzynski became the first Rangers catcher to start at the position in the first five games since Gerald Laird in 2008. ... INF Adrian Beltre received his 2012 Rawlings Platinum and Gold Gloves for defensive excellence last season. The award was the fourth of Beltre's career (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012). ... INF Leury Garcia made his major-league debut Saturday with a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth. The infielder struck out on four pitches.