After that first-inning homer, Texas picked its spots with the three-time MVP and chose to instead face Josh Hamilton. The Rangers intentionally walked Pujols three times, making him the first player in AL history to hit two homers with three intentional walks in one game. David Wright and Claudell Washington are the only other players to accomplish the feat.
So, how did Hamilton respond to being challenged by his former team? Not so well:
- First and second with two outs in the second: Three-pitch strikeout.
- First and second with two outs in the fourth: Three-pitch strikeout.
- First and second with one out in the eighth: First-pitch fly out to left.
Hamilton, 31, went 0 for 4 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts in the game, dropping his season batting line to .050/.208/.050. He's 1 for 20 with three walks and 10 strikeouts in the team's five games. That's ... really, really bad.
Of course, Pujols was hitting .197/.235/.275 through the team's first 36 games last summer and everything turned out just fine. Five games at the start of the season doesn't mean Hamilton is toast any more than it does Chris Davis is the better hitter on the planet. It sure would have been nice for the $125-million outfielder to start his Angels career off well, though, especially since his old team basically dared him to punish them on Saturday.