ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning with his 539th career homer, David Freese also hit a two-run shot and Garrett Richards pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Richards (7-4) yielded an unearned run and three walks, struck out four and retired his final 11 batters after a shaky start as the Angels snapped Arizona’s four-game winning streak.
The right-hander, coming off a 6-2 road victory against Tampa Bay in which he allowed two runs over seven innings, has won back-to-back starts for the first time since April 24-30 against Texas and Oakland.
Jeremy Hellickson (4-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, striking out six and walking one for Arizona. The right-hander, who came in with a 5.29 ERA, hasn’t pitched seven full innings in any of last 22 starts since Aug. 6, 2014.
The Angels managed only three hits through the first five innings — two-out singles by Mike Trout, Carlos Perez and Kyle Kubitza in the first, second and fifth. But Hellickson walked Trout with two out in the sixth, and Pujols drove a 2-1 pitch to left-center for his 19th homer of the season and 11th in 18 games.
Freese capped the scoring in the eighth against Randall Delgado with his 10th homer after a two-out walk to Pujols. Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 22 attempts.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia shuffled his lineup after watching his team produce just five runs over the previous three games. Trout and Pujols were moved back to third and fourth, respectively, while Kole Calhoun replaced Trout in the two hole after batting cleanup in 24 of the previous 27 games and hitting .235 with three homers and 14 RBIs during that stretch.
Pujols started in the cleanup spot for the 240th time in his career and first time since May 21, 2010, with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was 1 for 3, while Trout went 1 for 3 and Calhoun 0 for 4.
Thanks in part to a fielding error by rookie Taylor Featherston in his fourth start at second base in the big leagues, Richards found himself in a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first after just nine pitches. He got a visit from pitching coach Mike Butcher before striking out Yasmany Tomas and retiring Jake Lamb on a grounder.
Butcher went to the mound again in the second after Chris Owings led off with a single and advanced to third on a pair of passed balls by Perez with one out and Nick Ahmed at the plate — the second one coming on ball four to the D-backs’ No.9 hitter. A.J. Pollock drove in Owings with a sacrifice fly.
Danny Dorn, who was recalled by the D-backs from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday after right fielder and leadoff man Ender Inciarte was placed on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, started at first base and was 2 for 4 while Paul Goldschmidt served as the designated hitter. Goldschmidt, who began the day with a major league-leading .366 average, was 0 for 3 with a walk.
Diamondbacks: RHP Chase Anderson (2-1) will make his 13th start of the season as the scene shifts to Phoenix for the final two games of this four-game showdown. He is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in eight starts since losing 5-4 to Colorado on April 27 at Chase Field. Last Friday at San Francisco, Anderson pitched seven innings of one-hit ball in a 1-0 victory.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (4-3) is coming off his third straight no-decision since beating Detroit 2-0 with 7 1/3 innings of three-hit ball at home.