Hutchison serves up HR to Pujols; Blue Jays lose
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Drew Hutchison gave up a home run to Albert Pujols. Big deal. So did 273 other pitchers.
The only difference was that none of them had done it this season.
Pujols drove the rookie's 2-2 pitch into the left-field bullpen for his 446th career homer, ending the longest home run drought of his career after 33 games and 139 at-bats, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Sunday.
"My slider was pretty effective today, other than the one I hung to him," Hutchison said after his fourth big league start. "I was trying to bounce it in the dirt and I didn't execute it. When you don't execute your pitches, things like that happen."
Hutchison (1-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. He and catcher J.P. Arencibia had a conference on the mound right before the fateful pitch to Pujols, which came one out after a double by Mike Trout in the fifth inning.
"I didn't think about what they were going to throw me. I see the ball and hit it," Pujols said. "I've been doing that since I've played this game. This game is not about guessing, it's about making adjustments. Hopefully you get a good pitch to hit and you hit it."
Pujols homered in his 28th game and 111th at-bat with the Angels, who signed him to a 10-year, $240 million contract as a free agent in December, touching off a frenzy that resulted in more than 5,000 extra season tickets being sold. This was his first home run at Angel Stadium, the 31st big league ballpark in which he's hit one.
"My first at-bat, I couldn't pick up the ball really good off him," the three-time NL MVP said. "He threw me fastballs and sliders, and the second at-bat he was throwing cutters and curveballs, and I couldn't pick up his pitch from the stretch. By the third at-bat, I was able to make the adjustment. I put a good swing on it and hit it pretty good. Obviously in a day game, the ball travels a little bit more."
The loss forced the Blue Jays to settle for a split of the four-game series, which began with back-to-back shutouts by Brandon Morrow and Henderson Alvarez — the first time that's happened on the road in franchise history. Now they head up to Oakland for the second leg of their 10-game trip.