ARLINGTON – Albert Pujols did his best reenactment of Game 3 from last year’s World Series when he went deep three times in Rangers Ballpark.
Pujols, now with the Los Angeles Angels, homered twice off Derek Holland, and Jered Weaver turned in a strong start to help the Angels to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
The Angels have won the first two games of the four-game series, and have closed to within three games of the Rangers in the American League West standings.
Holland retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before giving up a solo home run to Pujols in the fourth. He ran into trouble again in the sixth, issuing a leadoff walk to Chris Iannetta and then serving up a two-run home run to Mike Trout. Two batters later, Pujols belted his second home run of the game to give the Angels a 4-0 lead.
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Holland started the seventh, but exited with two outs and runners at first and second. Those runs were eventually charged to Holland, as Torii Hunter had a two-run double off Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers.
Holland allowed six runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
The Rangers’ offense, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going against Weaver until the seventh inning.
Weaver, who had allowed only two hits through six innings, gave up consecutive one-out singles to Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. David Murphy followed with a two-run double to center, ending Weaver’s night.
That, however, was as close as the Rangers would come.
-- Drew Davison