Whicker: Long night’s journey ends well for Angels’ Kaleb Cowart

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart watches his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart watches his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart rounds the bases after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart rounds the bases after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans watch as a home run by the Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart leaves the park during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Fans watch as a home run by the Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart leaves the park during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Angels’ Martin Maldonado and C.J. Cron greet Kaleb Cowart at home after Cowart’s three-run home run during the fifth inning of their 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Angels’ Martin Maldonado and C.J. Cron greet Kaleb Cowart at home after Cowart’s three-run home run during the fifth inning of their 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Martin Maldonado during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Martin Maldonado during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

of

Expand

ANAHEIM — It took 238 minutes and 352 pitches to finish this little slice of heaven that became a 10-1 win by the Angels on Tuesday night.

Most people who were here at the beginning exercised their freedom of movement and left. Kaleb Cowart couldn’t. He is accustomed to vigil.

At 25, Cowart is getting his first sustained big-league innings and is doing so in the thick of a quasi-pennant race. He also is doing it at second base, which is not what he envisioned when he was tearing it up as a pitcher/third baseman at his Georgia high school.

“I would have laughed if you had told me that,” Cowart said.

In this one, Cowart lofted a three-run homer that gave the Angels a 6-1 lead over Texas. Then Albert Pujols followed with his 610th home run, which put him No. 8 on the all-time list and broke a tie with Sammy Sosa, who was previously the all-time foreign-born home run hitter.

HOLY COWART! 3-run big fly from @KalebCowart! @Angels pic.twitter.com/VoTwaqo2ug

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 23, 2017

The Angels took it home from there, although home had already beckoned most of the crowd of 37,033. Since Minnesota beat the White Sox, the Angels remained a half-game out of the second American League wild card spot, but seven games remain on this homestand.

They wound up with 16 hits and 13 men left on base, both season highs. But the big hits from Cowart and Pujols had not been commonplace.

Cowart was 2 for 19 on the Angels’ previous trip and was 0 for 14 when he homered in Baltimore on Friday.

Pujols’ homer was his third of the month, and his OPS (.651) had dropped 35 points in August.

“Every time he does something it seems like it’s a record,” Cowart said. “It’s a thrill being able to hit a home run in the same game he does.”

The historical interlude helped the remaining fans forget that they spent a long time watching nothing. Texas starter Tyson Ross had required 80 pitches to get through three innings. Angels starter Ricky Nolasco needed 68. And the Angels left five men on base in the first two innings.

Cowart was the 18th pick in the 2010 draft, the final one that legendary scouting director Eddie Bane was permitted to conduct in Anaheim. It wasn’t that lush a draft. Six of the players picked ahead of Cowart never made the big leagues.

For a while it seemed Cowart might not either. In 2013 and 2014 he hit .224 and .221 at Double-A Arkansas. That earned him a spot at High-A Inland Empire in 2015. By then the Angels had moved him to second, after briefly entertaining the idea of putting him on the mound.

“The footwork was different, there was a lot of stuff to get used to,” Cowart said. “My Triple-A manager, Keith Johnson, gave me a lot of help with it once I got to Salt Lake.

“I think going through all of that has made me a better person, not just a better player. Sometimes you have to go through some failure, to figure things out. Lately I’ve just been trying to get better pitches, improve pitch selection. You can’t be fouling off the pitch that you’re supposed to hit. Not up here.”

Cowart is still hitting .275 despite his downturn. Obviously, he would provide a talent boost from the minor leagues that the Angels have rarely seen in the post-Bane years.

Otherwise, this was probably not the first baseball game you wanted your kid to see, unless his attention span rivals that of an astronomer.

The long stretches of nothingness would have been tough to salvage even if the players had put nicknames on their backs,  which is the marketing breakthrough that Major League Baseball is giving us in this weekend’s games.

The issue is not whether young people like baseball. The issue is that by the time games like this are over, they’re not young people anymore.

But not everyone will forget this one. Nick Gardewine, from Effingham, Ill., and Kaskaskia College, made his Rangers debut and was the pitcher who gave up Pujols’ milestone home run.

He was a fan of Pujols as he grew up, as were most up-and-coming players in the Midwest.

Sometimes Pujols can still teach the younger generation a thing or two, even if it’s past his bedtime.

The confidence and bats of @KalebCowart and the @Angels were HUGE tonight! @Alex_Curry pic.twitter.com/NPcN1q97Hk

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 23, 2017

Read more about Whicker: Long night’s journey ends well for Angels’ Kaleb Cowart This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Albert Pujols slugs his way past Sammy Sosa with home run in Angels’ 10-1 win

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun hits a double off the wall for two RBI’s against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun hits a double off the wall for two RBI’s against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart is congratulated after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Martin Maldonado and C.J. Cron greet Kaleb Cowart at home after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Martin Maldonado and C.J. Cron greet Kaleb Cowart at home after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart rounds the bases after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart rounds the bases after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans watch as a home run by the Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart leaves the park during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Fans watch as a home run by the Los Angeles Angels Kaleb Cowart leaves the park during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels C.J. Cron dives back to third base against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels C.J. Cron dives back to third base against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Keynan Middleton throws to the plate against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Keynan Middleton throws to the plate against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels’ Ricky Nolasco is taken out of the game by manager Mike Scioscia during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels’ Ricky Nolasco is taken out of the game by manager Mike Scioscia during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun celebrates his two-RBI double off the wall against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun celebrates his two-RBI double off the wall against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans watch as a double by the Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun bounces off the wall for two RBI’s against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Fans watch as a double by the Los Angeles Angels Kole Calhoun bounces off the wall for two RBI’s against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos snags a pop up by the Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos snags a pop up by the Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols pops out as the Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos looks for the ball during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols pops out as the Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos looks for the ball during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Bene Revere rolls over after fouling a ball off of his leg against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Bene Revere rolls over after fouling a ball off of his leg against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor can’t reach this single by the Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor can’t reach this single by the Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout and Kaleb Cowart share a laugh between innings at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout and Kaleb Cowart share a laugh between innings at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Parker Bridwell sits in the dugout against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Parker Bridwell sits in the dugout against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Luis Valbuena heads for second behind the Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Luis Valbuena heads for second behind the Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols runs to third against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols runs to third against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols jumps back to second as the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre leaps for the throw during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols jumps back to second as the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre leaps for the throw during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring on an Albert Pujols double during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring on an Albert Pujols double during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout scores past Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos on an Albert Pujols RBI double during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout scores past Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos on an Albert Pujols RBI double during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols hits a RBI double against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols hits a RBI double against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout points to the dugout after a first inning single against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout points to the dugout after a first inning single against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Texas Rangers’ Tyson Ross throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Texas Rangers’ Tyson Ross throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco walks to the dugout after the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco walks to the dugout after the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco reacts after walking the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco reacts after walking the Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans react to a foul ball in the upper deck during the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Fans react to a foul ball in the upper deck during the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Andrelton Simmons waits between pitches during their game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Andrelton Simmons waits between pitches during their game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco throws to the plate against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Ricky Nolasco throws to the plate against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels’ Ricky Nolasco is taken out of the game by manager Mike Scioscia during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels’ Ricky Nolasco is taken out of the game by manager Mike Scioscia during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans look for Kaleb Cowart’s autograph before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Fans look for Kaleb Cowart’s autograph before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A fan carries four Mike Trout bobbleheads away from the stadium before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A fan carries four Mike Trout bobbleheads away from the stadium before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A Mike Trout bobblehead sits on the rail before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A Mike Trout bobblehead sits on the rail before the Los Angeles Angels game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his two-run double against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his two-run double against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart watches his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart watches his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Martin Maldonado during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kaleb Cowart, right, celebrates his three-run home run with Martin Maldonado during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Angels Manager Mike Scioscia talks with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom during the sixth inning of their game the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Angels Manager Mike Scioscia talks with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom during the sixth inning of their game the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Texas Rangers Nick Gardewine makes his MLB debut in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Texas Rangers Nick Gardewine makes his MLB debut in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Parker Bridwell watches from the dugout against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Parker Bridwell watches from the dugout against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols rounds the bases past Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli after his three-run home run during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols rounds the bases past Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli after his three-run home run during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Texas Rangers Nick Gardewine makes his MLB debut, giving up three unearned runs in the seventh inning, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Texas Rangers Nick Gardewine makes his MLB debut, giving up three unearned runs in the seventh inning, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates his three-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

of

Expand

ANAHEIM — On Sept. 26, 2007, Sammy Sosa hit his 609th career home run against the Angels on a hot and cloudy day in Arlington, Texas. Sosa played his final major league game three days later and retired with more home runs than any foreign-born player in history.

That record was surpassed at 10:28 p.m. Tuesday, in the eighth inning of an interminable game between – coincidentally – the Angels and Texas Rangers.

Albert Pujols’ 610th career home run moved him past Sosa into eighth place on MLB’s all-time list, surpassing his countryman. Pujols was born in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo; Sosa was born an hour east in the coastal city of San Pedro de Macoris. Pujols came to the United States as a teenager while Sosa was establishing himself as one of history’s great sluggers.

With No. 610, @PujolsFive is now 8th all-time in homers and has the most ever among foreign-born players. pic.twitter.com/K4Ih6sq8cm

— MLB (@MLB) August 23, 2017

Now 37, Pujols is still climbing a home-run list that holds only seven Americans in sight. Jim Thome is the next man on that list with 612.

Sosa hit his 609th home run in a 16-2 Texas win. Pujols’ homer, a three-run moonshot to left-center field, was the final dagger in a 10-1 Angels victory. The Rangers’ first baseman Tuesday, Mike Napoli, was the Angels’ catcher on that cloudy day in Arlington 10 years ago.

Unfortunately for the announced crowd of 37,033 at Angel Stadium, the game’s sloth-like pace led many to the exits before Pujols faced Rangers pitcher Nick Gardewine, a 24-year-old right-hander making his major league debut. The first inning featured 59 pitches and lasted 33 minutes by itself.

The Angels and Rangers needed two hours to complete four innings. The game’s 200th pitch was thrown in the fifth. Twenty-three minutes later, the fifth inning still wasn’t over, but at least the Angels had supplied some fireworks.

Kaleb Cowart hit a three-run home run against Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx to turn a 3-1 lead into a 6-1 landslide. The Angels didn’t let up, setting a season high with 16 hits before it was over.

Kole Calhoun went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles. Pujols, Cowart, Mike Trout and Martin Maldonado had two hits apiece.

Angels starter Ricky Nolasco didn’t factor into the decision. He left with a 3-1 lead after throwing 101 pitches in 4⅔ innings. The first pitcher out of the bullpen, Keynan Middleton (5-1) threw 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief.

The Angels never trailed. Trout singled in the first inning and scored on a double by Pujols that hit high off the right field wall, 10 feet shy of a homer. A two-run double by Calhoun increased the Angels’ lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning.

The only run against Nolasco’s ledger came on a sacrifice fly by Elvis Andrus that scored Delino DeShields in the fifth inning. Even that run was far from assured; Trout took an extra step or two before releasing the ball. Had he not hesitated, DeShields might have been out.

With the Rangers on the board in the fifth inning, C.J. Cron doubled and Martin singled before Cowart knocked out Bibens-Dirkx with his home run.

Calhoun also doubled in the sixth inning and scored on a Luis Valbuena single.

Rangers starter Tyson Ross (3-3) headed for the showers even earlier than Nolasco. The right-hander allowed seven runs and walked four batters in 3⅔ innings. He was charged with three runs, all earned.

The game lasted 3 hours and 58 minutes, but it allowed the Angels (65-51) to keep pace with the Minnesota Twins (65-60) in the American League wild-card race. Eight teams are separated by six games in the battle for the AL’s final playoff berth.

More to come on this story.

Read more about Albert Pujols slugs his way past Sammy Sosa with home run in Angels’ 10-1 win This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico