MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 623rd career homer and tied Stan Musial for seventh on the career RBI list with 1,951, helping the Los Angeles Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 after a four-hour rain delay Saturday.
Pujols’ solo home run in the sixth proved to be the difference as Tyler Skaggs (5-4) allowed one run in seven innings and matched a season best with eight strikeouts.
Ian Kinsler had a solo home run for Los Angeles, his sixth in the past 11 games. Blake Parker recorded his seventh save for Los Angeles, which has won seven of its past eight games.
Kyle Gibson (1-4) allowed both home runs before completing seven innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out five batters as Minnesota fell to 3-13 in one-run games.
The four-hour rain delay is the second longest in Target Field history behind a 4:50 delay last June against the Chicago White Sox.
Once the teams took the field, Skaggs and Gibson minimized trouble until Kinsler hit his eighth home run with a nearly one-handed swing off the end of the bat with two outs in the third.
Gibson followed by walking Mike Trout and Justin Upton but struck out Pujols to end the inning on a pitch Pujols argued with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds.
Pujols struck in the sixth with a towering homer to the second deck in left field. It was Pujols’ 3,026th career hit, which ranks 27th on the career list. He’s seventh on the home run list, seven behind Ken Griffey Jr., and his RBI total is 44 behind Lou Gehrig for sixth.
Minnesota’s lone run crossed the plate in the sixth after Max Kepler grounded into a double play, but Robbie Grossman got caught in a rundown before being tagged out, allowing Eddie Rosario to score.
ANGELS ANNOUNCER CLEARED
Los Angeles radio play-by-play announcer Terry Smith was released from a local hospital after an irregular heartbeat forced him to leave Friday’s broadcast. Smith was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he underwent tests.
The team said Smith was cleared after the testing and he’ll return to the broadcast on Monday in Seattle.
The Twins recalled OF Jake Cave from Triple-A Rochester before the game, optioning RHP Tyler Duffey in the process. Cave hit .111 in three games earlier this season, including his first major league hit on a home run.
Angels: C Martin Maldonado was out of the lineup a day after fouling a ball off his foot. But manager Mike Scioscia said he planned to start rookie catcher Jose Briceno anyway because of the day game following a night game.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (10-day disabled list) ran on an antigravity treadmill Friday as he tests his broken left great toe. Buxton was likely to advance to hitting off a tee Saturday.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (3-3, 4.35 ERA) starts the series finale. Tropeano allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings in his last start against Kansas City.
Twins: RHP Fernando Romero (2-2, 3.96) will take the mound looking to follow-up his two-run, six-inning start last week against Chicago. The rookie has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his career seven starts.
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