NEW YORK: Throughout an up-and-down month, the Los Angeles Angels have been pretty consistent in one area: hitting home runs.
Albert Pujols had one of Los Angeles’ four long balls, C.J. Wilson kept New York in check again and the Angels roughed up the road weary Yankees 13-1 yesterday.
“The offensive part of our club is doing what it needs to do,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
“Hopefully we’ll start to match it on the mound, particularly in the bullpen.”
Pujols hit homer No. 501 and Ian Stewart had a two-run shot off Hiroki Kuroda (2-2) for the majors’ top slugging squad. Erick Aybar connected for a three-run drive and Collin Cowgill went deep against Bruce Billings, one of the pitchers called up when Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games after being caught with pine tar on his neck Wednesday night. Even with Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun on the disabled list, the Angels set a club record for March and April with 35 home runs, and Pujols has a majors-leading nine. But Los Angeles, which wasted a ninth-inning lead Wednesday in a 5-4 loss, is just 11-11 and has not been above .500 yet this season.
“It was a fun game for us after the off day and after the way the last game went,” Wilson said.
“We’re hitting balls all over the place.”
Wilson (3-2) played catch on a softball field in Central Park wearing his red glove, unnoticed by any New Yorkers. It was hard not to notice his dominant performance in a difficult wind yesterday. He gave up a run and four hits in six innings, the seventh time in eight starts he’s held New York to two or fewer earned runs.
Hank Conger had a pair of RBI doubles and a run-scoring single, Aybar reached base all five times - once when Carlos Beltran dropped his flyball to right field - and scored four runs. Howie Kendrick had three of the Angels’ 16 hits and scored three runs in a game that ended in front of a near-empty stadium. The Yankees returned home yesterday from an eventful 4-3 road trip in which they lost starters Ivan Nova to a season-ending elbow injury and Pineda for two starts. Agencies