Albert Pujols tied Willie Mays for fifth place on the career homer list with a two-run shot in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 5-3 win over the slumping Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Trailing 3-2, the 40-year-old Pujols lined a fastball from Carlos Estevez (1-3) into the empty seats in left-center for his 660th homer. The ball was quickly retrieved.
It was his first homer since Aug. 4.
Pujols now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696) on the career home run list. Estevez became the 426th different pitcher that Pujols has taken deep. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).
It was a crazy day at the plate for the Angels, who had more walks (10) than hits (six). They also had a hit batter and reached on an error as the Rockies pitching staff struggled to find the strike zone.
Andrew Heaney (4-3) threw seven efficient innings for Los Angeles, allowing three runs and no walks while striking out eight. Matt Andriese tossed two solid innings to earn a save for the second straight game.
The Angels took two of three from Rockies and wrapped up a six-game trip with a 3-3 mark.
Colorado continued its fall after an 11-3 start. It dropped to 10-22 since Aug. 9.
Kevin Pillar and Charlie Blackmon hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the third for Colorado. Matt Kemp added a solo homer.
Rockies starter Ryan Castellani had an intriguing line: 5 2/3 innings pitched, one hit, one unearned run, four strikeouts, one hit batter and six walks. He didn’t surrender his first hit until Max Stassi singled in the fifth.
Angels first baseman Jared Walsh had another big game with two hits, including an RBI single. His string of four straight games with a homer was snapped.
Manager Joe Maddon has been impressed with the 27-year-old Walsh, who was a 39th-round pick in 2015.
“This is a young man who might be arriving at that stage-three point, where it’s ‘I belong here, I can do this’ as opposed to just being a survivalist and just trying to figure out if he belongs here or not,” Maddon said.
Rockies: 3B Nolan Arenado was given the day off to rest a sore left shoulder. “It’s feeling better today after some treatment and therapy,” manager Bud Black said. … OF Raimel Tapia left in the fifth.
Maddon hasn’t noticed any outward frustration from a slumping Shohei Ohtani, who is hitting .189 and was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game.
“For whatever reason, there are some really good players this year experiencing this same kind of offensive trauma,” Maddon said. “They will all work through it. If you’re good, you’re young and you’re not hurt, you’ll work through it. That’s what I think Shohei shall do.
“We have games left. We’re not quitting on anybody right now. He’ll be out there often.”
Black said Pujols’ place in history is already secured.
“One of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time,” Black said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Angels: After an off day, the Angels will host Arizona in a three-game series. Righty Julio Teheran (0-3, 8.23 ERA) will throw Tuesday.
Rockies: Begin a two-game series against Oakland on Tuesday. Righty Antonio Senzatela (2-5, 4.35 ERA) goes for the Rockies and lefty Sean Manaea (4-2, 4.46 ERA) for the Athletics.