Pujols connected in the fifth inning for his first AL homer and the 446th overall. When he returned to the dugout, he had it all to himself. No players, no coaches, no batboys.
Pujols' teammates gave him the ol' silent treatment, a plot hatched by Torii Hunter. They were all waiting for the slugger in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse. Then, a burst of euphoria and they were all back on the bench, high-fiving and slapping him all over his body.
The three-time NL MVP had gone 33 games and 139 at-bats dating to last year without a home run in the regular season. He had a three-homer game for the champion St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and hit seven home runs in spring training.
Pujols drove a 2-2 pitch from Drew Hutchison (1-1) into the left-field bullpen for a two-run shot. He 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.
Pujols had not homered in the regular season since last Sept. 22. This was the first time Pujols, who began the game batting .194 with five RBIs, drove in a run with a hit since April 15.
Jerome Williams (3-1) allowed three runs in 6 2-3 innings. LaTroy Hawkins turned Omar Vizquel's line drive into a game-ending double play for his first save with the Angels.
ORIOLES 9, RED SOX 6, 17 INNINGS
BOSTON (AP) — In the first major league game since 1925 in which both teams put a position player on the mound, Baltimore designated hitter Chris Davis overcame an awful day at the plate by pitching two scoreless innings and getting the win as the Orioles outlasted Boston.
Davis went 0 for 8, striking out five times and grounding into a double play. But in a season full of surprises for the Orioles, a first baseman by trade delivered the biggest one yet in a crazy game at Fenway Park.
Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the top of the 17th off Darnell McDonald (0-1), an outfielder the Red Sox turned to once their bullpen was empty.
Boston then put two runners on to start the 17th against Davis (1-0), making his pro pitching debut. With a fastball in the mid-80s (mph), he struck out All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez and got McDonald to ground into a double play to end a game that took 6 hours, 7 minutes.
The last time two teams brought in position players to pitch in the same game was Oct. 4, 1925, when Hall of Famers Ty Cobb of Detroit and George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns closed out the second game of a doubleheader on the last day of the season, STATS LLC said.
The last time any position player wound up as the winning pitcher was May 25, 2011, when Philadelphia infielder Wilson Valdez threw one scoreless inning in a 19-inning victory over Cincinnati.
J.J. Hardy had five hits, including two homers, as Baltimore completed a sweep and won its fifth in a row. The shortstop also made a relay to the plate that cut down the potential winning run to end the 16th.
Robert Andino hit a three-run shot for the Orioles, who improved to a major league-best 19-9.
Boston rookie Will Middlebrooks hit a grand slam for his first major league homer. Gonzlaez was 0 for 8.
INDIANS 4, RANGERS 2
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ubaldo Jimenez pitched seven scoreless innings and Cleveland handed Texas rookie Yu Darvish (4-1) his first major league loss.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run double and Jason Kipnis homered off the Japanese star, who struck out a career-high 11 over six innings. Jimenez (3-2) walked four in the first three innings but settled down and permitted only two hits.
Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 11th consecutive save. He was helped by a diving catch in right field by Shin-Soo Choo.
The first-place Indians took two of three from the two-time defending AL champions after going 1-9 against the Rangers in 2011.
YANKEES 10, ROYALS 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Robinson Cano hit his eighth career grand slam, Alex Rodriguez added a three-run shot and New York tagged Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar.
Nick Swisher added a homer in his return to the starting lineup from a hamstring injury, helping the Yankees earn a four-game split. Phil Hughes (2-4) went a season-high 6 2-3 innings for the win.
Hochevar (2-3) was battered for the second straight start, his ERA soaring to 9.00 on the season. He was yanked after 2 1-3 innings.
TIGERS 3, WHITE SOX 1
DETROIT (AP) — Prince Fielder homered and Rick Porcello pitched impressively into the seventh inning to lead Detroit over Chicago.
Fielder's 432-foot shot to right-centre — his fourth of the year — broke a 1-all tie in the third. Austin Jackson homered for the Tigers in the first after Adam Dunn gave Chicago an early lead with a solo shot in the top half.
Andy Dirks added a home run in the eighth.
Porcello (3-2) allowed a run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. Four relievers finished for the Tigers, with Jose Valverde pitching the ninth for his fifth save.
Dylan Axelrod (0-1) gave up two runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
ATHLETICS 9, RAYS 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Inge hit his first homer for Oakland and drove in four runs as the Athletics roughed up Tampa Bay rookie Matt Moore.
Jonny Gomes and Daric Barton knocked in two runs apiece for the A's, who took two of three at Tropicana Field to hand the Rays their first series loss since Boston won three of four April 13-16.
Tampa Bay dropped its second straight, falling to 13-3 at home, and failed again to become the first major league team to reach 20 wins.
Inge, released by Detroit on April 26 after 11 seasons with the Tigers, hit a three-run shot off Moore (1-2) in the third to give Oakland a 5-4 lead after Tommy Milone (4-2) struggled in the first. Moore gave up a career-high eight runs in 4 2-3 innings.
MARINERS 5, TWINS 2
SEATTLE (AP) — Rookie slugger Jesus Montero lined a two-run double in the first inning and Mike Carp added his first homer of the season to lead Seattle past slumping Minnesota.
Mariners starter Hector Noesi (2-3) took a shutout into the seventh before giving up a solo shot to Ryan Doumit, who homered again in the ninth off Tom Wilhelmsen. Seattle won its second straight after snapping a seven-game skid Saturday night.
The Twins head home having dropped 11 of 13. Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn (0-4) made it through six innings but remained winless in five starts this season.