DETROIT (AP) — Albert Pujols became the third player with 2,000 career RBIs, hitting a solo homer in the third inning Thursday to help the Los Angeles Angels rout the Detroit Tigers 13-0.
The three-time MVP joined Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) as the three players to reach the milestone since 1920. Babe Ruth is credited with 1,992 RBIs because baseball’s official records don’t count the runs the slugger drove in with the Boston Red Sox from 1914 through 1919.
Ryan Carpenter (0-1) threw Pujols a fastball over the middle of the plate and the slugger sent the 2-0 pitch deep into the right-field seats. Pujols received an ovation by the sparse crowd at Comerica Park, where his accomplishment was recognized on the videoboard and by the public address announcer.
Luke Bard started for the Angels after a 53-minute rain delay and pitched one inning, allowing two hits. Felix Pena (2-1) followed and threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out seven.
The Angels provided plenty of offense.
Shohei Ohtani ended his 0-for-7 start with an RBI single in the two-run first. The AL Rookie of the Year finished 2 for 4 in playing in his third game since being cleared to play following Tommy John surgery in October.
Tommy La Stella hit his first of two homers, a two-run shot in the three-run second inning. Pujols’ sixth homer of the year gave Los Angeles a 6-0 lead. Kole Calhoun followed with another solo homer in the sixth inning and Mike Trout’s sacrifice fly made it 9-0 in the seventh.
Angels: CF Brian Goodwin was scheduled to have the day off but was used as a pinch-hitter for Trout in the eighth and singled.
Tigers: OF Christin Stewart (right quad strain) was reinstated from the injured list and hit a fly to center in the ninth as a pinch-hitter for Miguel Cabrera.
Angels: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-3, 6.95) starts a series Friday against RHP Dan Straily (1-2, 7.43) at Baltimore.
Tigers: RHP Tyson Ross (1-4, 5.34) opens a series Friday night against RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-2, 2.78) at Minnesota.