ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels flexed their muscles, and the Houston Astros didn't know what hit them.
Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead, two-run homer, and C.J. Cron and pinch-hitter David Freese also homered against the Houston bullpen during an eight-run rally that carried the Angels to an 11-5 victory over the Astros on Saturday night.
"It was a big inning at the right time," manager Mike Scioscia said after the Angels' ninth straight home win. "David Freese got us close, and Albert got a huge hit with two outs to give us a lead. Once that inning got rolling, our guys didn't want it to end.
"They just kept passing that baton and doing whatever they had to do."
Houston starter Scott Feldman left after six innings with a 5-2 lead and was replaced by Anthony Bass (1-1). Cron greeted him with a leadoff single before Freese batted for John McDonald and hit his first homer in 124 career at-bats at Angel Stadium and first in the majors as a pinch-hitter.
"It doesn't matter who we're facing," Pujols said. "We hit some balls hard against Feldman, but he made some good pitches when he needed them to get out of some innings. But our goal is not to concentrate on who's on the mound. It's to go out there and have quality at-bats against anybody."
Kole Calhoun followed with a single for his third hit of the game. Bass retired Mike Trout before Pujols drove the next pitch for his 19th homer.
It was the 511th of his career, tying Mel Ott for 23rd place on baseball's list and putting one away from tying Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews. Pujols added his 542nd career double in the ninth, overtaking Rogers Hornsby for 30th place.
"It's good to see him attacking the ball the way he can," Scioscia said. "Albert knows how important he is to our lineup. And when he doesn't play to his potential, nobody feels it more than he does. We need Albert to do what he's capable of, and he's doing it."
Tony Sipp, who surrendered Trout's walkoff homer in the ninth inning of the Astros' 7-6 loss on Friday, gave up a walk to Josh Hamilton and an RBI double to Erick Aybar. After an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick, Josh Zeid came on and yielded Cron's three-run homer.
"We've got to be better," Zeid said. "I know I personally have to be a lot better. They're a great hitting team, and we weren't making the right pitches.
"I know I have to be more aggressive."
Trout, the 14th Angels batter in the seventh, struck out against Zeid with the bases loaded to end the team's most productive inning of the season after 55 minutes and 74 pitches.