Angels off to best start since 1987 after 8-3 win at Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Martin Maldonado wasn't sure whether to slide head-first or feet-first after the throw beat him to home plate.

The Los Angeles Angels catcher got caught in between, and somehow managed to avoid the tag after dropping to both knees.

Albert Pujols hit his 616th career homer, Maldonado had two RBI singles along with his evasive scoring move and the Angels extended their best start in more than three decades with an 8-3 win at Texas on Monday night.

''Yeah, because I got stuck,'' Maldonado said, trying to explain what happened.

Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez was emphatic with his out call on the play in the sixth inning, but Maldonado immediately pointed to manager Mike Scioscia for a replay challenge.

''I wouldn't have believed it,'' Scioscia said. ''But Martin did everything he could to avoid a tag and he got his hand in there.''

Maldonado came home on Chris Young's double that ricocheted awkwardly off the wall down the left-field line and avoided the attempted tag by fellow catcher Robinson Chirinos, putting the Angels up 5-1.

The Angels are 8-3 for the first time since 1987, and fourth time in franchise history. Shohei Ohtani, the rookie two-way standout who was chosen AL Player of the Week, didn't play a day after striking out 12 in seven scoreless innings against Oakland.

Pujols led off the fourth with a line shot just inside the pole in left, his second homer this season and 1,923rd career RBI to break a tie with Jimmie Foxx for sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list. He later added a single for his 2,981st career hit.

''He's getting comfortable in the box,'' Scioscia said. ''It's fun to watch when he's starting swinging like that.''

Jose Alvarez (1-0) retired the only two batters he faced after Angels starter Garrett Richards walked the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. Richards struck out six and walked five in his 4 1/3 innings.

Doug Fister (1-2) struck out five with no walks while allowing three runs in his five innings.

''He had a good sinker,'' manager Jeff Banister said. ''Looked like the one pitch to Pujols was left up, but felt like he was making some good pitches.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: RHP JC Ramirez will miss the rest of this season because of a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and Tommy John surgery has been recommended. ... Scioscia said 2B Ian Kinsler ''worked out well'' before the game and was ''very close.'' He hasn't played since the season opener because of a strained groin.

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor left the game in the first because of a left hamstring strain sustained when trying to scramble back to first base on a short flyout to right. He tweaked the hamstring stretching for a throw at second base at Oakland on Thursday, but played all three games over the weekend against Toronto.

''At this point, do expect that he's going to miss some time,'' Banister said.

SHORT HOPS

Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre's single in the fourth was his 3,060th career hit, matching Craig Biggio for 23rd on the all-time list. ... Joey Gallo has 10 RBIs after driving in two runs for Texas. ... Elvis Andrus homered in the ninth for Texas, his second of the season.

CAN BE FIXED

While Richards knows the five walks aren't appealing, he said the problem is mechanical and fixable.

''Obviously my stuff is there. I'm not worried about that,'' he said. ''It's just smoothing out some delivery issues that I have, better direction to the plate, better timing, my arm's dragging a little bit so everything's kind of up in the zone ... It's rhythm, tempo and timing. I'm just a hair off right now.''

UP NEXT

Ohtani could return to the lineup. He's homered in three straight games as a designated hitter. Both teams start 1-0 left-handers, Tyler Skaggs for the Angels and Martin Perez for the Rangers.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
LAA8-3
1002020308130
TEX4-8
000100101381
  • W: J. Alvarez (1-0)L: D. Fister (1-2)
  • HR: LAA - A. Pujols (2), TEX - E. Andrus (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
Z. Cozart 2B51210003.265.321.490.8114.0
M. Trout CF40110100.222.327.489.8163.0
J. Upton DH50000035.250.300.523.823-1.5
A. Pujols 1B51211022.277.306.447.7536.0
K. Calhoun RF51210001.217.250.326.5764.0
A. Simmons SS53200004.362.375.404.7795.0
L. Valbuena 3B41100112.231.286.410.6962.5
M. Maldonado C31220000.269.387.308.6956.0
R. Schimpf LF20010012.200.429.8001.2290.5
C. Young LF20110003.167.167.333.5003.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    S. Choo DH40000111.295.367.568.9362.5
    R. Odor 2B00000100.206.300.265.5651.0
    J. Profar PR-2B20000210.133.381.200.5811.5
    E. Andrus SS42111104.362.423.553.9768.0
    A. Beltre 3B41100122.286.333.405.7382.0
    N. Mazara RF50200003.317.378.415.7922.0
    J. Gallo 1B40220004.224.269.449.7184.0
    R. Chirinos C40200013.125.194.188.3822.5
    D. Robinson CF40000024.214.290.321.612-1.0
    R. Rua LF40000033.121.143.152.294-1.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Young
      • HR - A. Pujols (2)
      • RBI - Z. Cozart (5), M. Trout (8), A. Pujols (5), K. Calhoun (5), M. Maldonado 2 (4), R. Schimpf (2), C. Young
      • 2-Out RBI - K. Calhoun (3), M. Maldonado (2), C. Young
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Chirinos (2)
      • HR - E. Andrus (2)
      • RBI - E. Andrus (5), J. Gallo 2 (10)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Gallo (4)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - S. Choo
      FIELDING
      • E - A. Beltre
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      G. Richards4.14115604.201.605.0
      J. Alvarez (W, 1-0)0.20000000.000.807.0
      N. Ramirez1.01000102.841.742.5
      J. Johnson1.02111102.450.68-0.5
      B. Parker1.00000106.351.593.5
      C. Bedrosian1.01110117.711.931.5
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      D. Fister (L, 1-2)5.06330513.951.613.5
      A. Claudio0.23220006.431.43-5.0
      M. Bush1.10000101.351.203.5
      J. Diekman0.023210011.573.00-5.0
      K. Jepsen1.22001002.350.910.0
      K. Kela0.10000100.000.900.5
      PITCHERSIP
      D. Fister (L, 1-2)5.0
      A. Claudio0.2
      M. Bush1.1
      J. Diekman0.0
      K. Jepsen1.2
      K. Kela0.1
      PITCHING
      • WP - N. Ramirez
      • Pitches-Strikes - G. Richards 94-51, J. Alvarez 7-4, N. Ramirez 17-11, J. Johnson 14-9, B. Parker 11-8, C. Bedrosian 18-11
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Richards 4-3, N. Ramirez 2-0, B. Parker 2-0, C. Bedrosian 2-0
      • Batters Faced - G. Richards 22, J. Alvarez 2, N. Ramirez 4, J. Johnson 6, B. Parker 3, C. Bedrosian 4
      PITCHING
      • HBP - D. Fister (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - D. Fister 81-52, A. Claudio 21-14, M. Bush 18-11, J. Diekman 15-7, K. Jepsen 23-13, K. Kela 4-3
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Fister 6-4, A. Claudio 1-1, M. Bush 2-1, J. Diekman 1-0, K. Jepsen 3-1
      • Batters Faced - D. Fister 22, A. Claudio 5, M. Bush 4, J. Diekman 4, K. Jepsen 7, K. Kela
      • Balks - A. Claudio
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      LAA8-3
      1002020308130
      TEX4-8
      000100101381
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      Z. Cozart 2B51210003.265.321.490.8114.0
      M. Trout CF40110100.222.327.489.8163.0
      J. Upton DH50000035.250.300.523.823-1.5
      A. Pujols 1B51211022.277.306.447.7536.0
      K. Calhoun RF51210001.217.250.326.5764.0
      A. Simmons SS53200004.362.375.404.7795.0
      L. Valbuena 3B41100112.231.286.410.6962.5
      M. Maldonado C31220000.269.387.308.6956.0
      R. Schimpf LF20010012.200.429.8001.2290.5
      C. Young LF20110003.167.167.333.5003.0
      Total40813812722-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        S. Choo DH40000111.295.367.568.9362.5
        R. Odor 2B00000100.206.300.265.5651.0
        J. Profar PR-2B20000210.133.381.200.5811.5
        E. Andrus SS42111104.362.423.553.9768.0
        A. Beltre 3B41100122.286.333.405.7382.0
        N. Mazara RF50200003.317.378.415.7922.0
        J. Gallo 1B40220004.224.269.449.7184.0
        R. Chirinos C40200013.125.194.188.3822.5
        D. Robinson CF40000024.214.290.321.612-1.0
        R. Rua LF40000033.121.143.152.294-1.5
        Total35383161024-----
        HITTERSAB
        S. Choo DH4
        R. Odor 2B0
        J. Profar PR-2B2
        E. Andrus SS4
        A. Beltre 3B4
        N. Mazara RF5
        J. Gallo 1B4
        R. Chirinos C4
        D. Robinson CF4
        R. Rua LF4
        Total35
          BATTING
          • 2B - C. Young
          • HR - A. Pujols (2)
          • RBI - Z. Cozart (5), M. Trout (8), A. Pujols (5), K. Calhoun (5), M. Maldonado 2 (4), R. Schimpf (2), C. Young
          • 2-Out RBI - K. Calhoun (3), M. Maldonado (2), C. Young
          BATTING
          • 2B - R. Chirinos (2)
          • HR - E. Andrus (2)
          • RBI - E. Andrus (5), J. Gallo 2 (10)
          • 2-Out RBI - J. Gallo (4)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - S. Choo
          FIELDING
          • E - A. Beltre
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          G. Richards4.14115604.201.605.0
          J. Alvarez (W, 1-0)0.20000000.000.807.0
          N. Ramirez1.01000102.841.742.5
          J. Johnson1.02111102.450.68-0.5
          B. Parker1.00000106.351.593.5
          C. Bedrosian1.01110117.711.931.5
          Total9.08336101---
          PITCHERSIP
          G. Richards4.1
          J. Alvarez (W, 1-0)0.2
          N. Ramirez1.0
          J. Johnson1.0
          B. Parker1.0
          C. Bedrosian1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          D. Fister (L, 1-2)5.06330513.951.613.5
          A. Claudio0.23220006.431.43-5.0
          M. Bush1.10000101.351.203.5
          J. Diekman0.023210011.573.00-5.0
          K. Jepsen1.22001002.350.910.0
          K. Kela0.10000100.000.900.5
          Total9.01387271---
          PITCHERSIP
          D. Fister (L, 1-2)5.0
          A. Claudio0.2
          M. Bush1.1
          J. Diekman0.0
          K. Jepsen1.2
          K. Kela0.1
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - N. Ramirez
          • Pitches-Strikes - G. Richards 94-51, J. Alvarez 7-4, N. Ramirez 17-11, J. Johnson 14-9, B. Parker 11-8, C. Bedrosian 18-11
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - G. Richards 4-3, N. Ramirez 2-0, B. Parker 2-0, C. Bedrosian 2-0
          • Batters Faced - G. Richards 22, J. Alvarez 2, N. Ramirez 4, J. Johnson 6, B. Parker 3, C. Bedrosian 4
          PITCHING
          • HBP - D. Fister (2)
          • Pitches-Strikes - D. Fister 81-52, A. Claudio 21-14, M. Bush 18-11, J. Diekman 15-7, K. Jepsen 23-13, K. Kela 4-3
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Fister 6-4, A. Claudio 1-1, M. Bush 2-1, J. Diekman 1-0, K. Jepsen 3-1
          • Batters Faced - D. Fister 22, A. Claudio 5, M. Bush 4, J. Diekman 4, K. Jepsen 7, K. Kela
          • Balks - A. Claudio
          • 9TH INNING
            Andrus homered to center83
          • 8TH INNING
            Trout walked, Valbuena scored, Maldonado to third, Cozart to second82
            Cozart singled to right, Simmons scored, Valbuena to third, Maldonado to second72
            Maldonado singled to right, Calhoun scored, Simmons to third, Valbuena to second62
          • 7TH INNING
            Gallo singled to left, Andrus scored, Mazara to second52
          • 6TH INNING
            Young doubled to left, Maldonado scored, Young to third51
            Maldonado singled to center, Simmons scored41
          • 4TH INNING
            Gallo reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Beltre scored, Mazara out at second31
            Schimpf grounded out to third, Simmons scored, Valbuena to third, Maldonado to second30
            Pujols homered to left20
          • 1ST INNING
            Calhoun singled to shallow right center, Cozart scored, Trout to third10
          • 9TH INNING
            • K. Jepsen Pitching:
            • A. Pujols: Pujols singled to center
            • K. Calhoun: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Calhoun grounded out to first, Pujols to second
            • A. Simmons: Ball, Ball, Simmons grounded out to third
            • Keone Kela relieved Kevin Jepsen
            • L. Valbuena: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Valbuena struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Cam Bedrosian relieved Blake Parker
            • J. Profar: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Profar struck out on foul tip
            • E. Andrus: Ball, Andrus homered to center
            • A. Beltre: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Beltre grounded out to shortstop
            • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Ball, Mazara grounded out to third
            • End of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Jake Diekman relieved Matt Bush
            • K. Calhoun: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Calhoun singled to right
            • A. Simmons: Ball, Simmons safe at first on 3rd baseman Beltre fielding error, Calhoun to second
            • L. Valbuena: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Valbuena walked, Calhoun to third, Simmons to second
            • M. Maldonado: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Maldonado singled to right, Calhoun scored, Simmons to third, Valbuena to second
            • Kevin Jepsen relieved Jake Diekman
            • C. Young: Young flied out to left
            • Z. Cozart: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Cozart singled to right, Simmons scored, Valbuena to third, Maldonado to second
            • M. Trout: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Trout walked, Valbuena scored, Maldonado to third, Cozart to second
            • J. Upton: Strike looking, Upton grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Trout out at second
            • Middle of the 8th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
            • Blake Parker relieved Jim Johnson
            • D. Robinson: Ball, Strike looking, Robinson grounded out to second
            • R. Rua: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Rua struck out looking
            • S. Choo: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Choo grounded out to first
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • M. Bush Pitching:
            • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Trout grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Upton: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Upton struck out swinging
            • A. Pujols: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Pujols lined out to center
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jim Johnson relieved Noe Ramirez
            • J. Profar: Strike looking, Foul, Profar flied out to center
            • E. Andrus: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Andrus walked
            • A. Beltre: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Beltre struck out looking
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Mazara singled to left, Andrus to second
            • J. Gallo: Gallo singled to left, Andrus scored, Mazara to second
            • R. Chirinos: Chirinos flied out to center
            • End of the 7th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Alex Claudio relieved Doug Fister
            • K. Calhoun: Calhoun grounded out to pitcher
            • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Simmons singled to left
            • L. Valbuena: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Simmons to second on balk, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Valbuena flied out to center
            • M. Maldonado: Foul, Ball, Maldonado singled to center, Simmons scored
            • C. Young: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Young doubled to left, Maldonado scored, Young to third
            • Matt Bush relieved Alex Claudio
            • Z. Cozart: Ball, Ball, Cozart grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 6th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Noe Ramirez relieved Jose Alvarez
            • R. Chirinos: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Chirinos doubled to deep right
            • D. Robinson: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Robinson struck out swinging
            • R. Rua: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Rua grounded out to third
            • S. Choo: Strike swinging, Ball, Chirinos to third on wild pitch, Choo grounded out to first
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • D. Fister Pitching:
            • M. Trout: Ball, Trout flied out to center
            • J. Upton: Upton fouled out to left
            • A. Pujols: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Pujols struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Richards Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Choo walked
            • J. Profar: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Profar walked, Choo to second
            • E. Andrus: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Andrus lined out to right
            • A. Beltre: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Choo stole third, Ball, Beltre walked, Profar to second
            • Jose Alvarez relieved Garrett Richards
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Mazara popped out to shortstop
            • J. Gallo: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gallo flied out to center
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • D. Fister Pitching:
            • A. Pujols: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pujols homered to left
            • K. Calhoun: Calhoun grounded out to first
            • A. Simmons: Ball, Simmons singled to center
            • L. Valbuena: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Valbuena singled to right, Simmons to second
            • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Maldonado hit by pitch, Simmons to third, Valbuena to second
            • R. Schimpf: Schimpf grounded out to third, Simmons scored, Valbuena to third, Maldonado to second
            • Z. Cozart: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Cozart reached on fielder's choice to catcher, Valbuena out at home
            • Middle of the 4th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Chris Young in left
            • A. Beltre: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Beltre singled to center
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Ball, Mazara singled to right, Beltre to third
            • J. Gallo: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Gallo reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Beltre scored, Mazara out at second
            • R. Chirinos: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Chirinos singled to left, Gallo to second
            • D. Robinson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Robinson struck out swinging
            • R. Rua: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Rua struck out looking
            • End of the 4th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • D. Fister Pitching:
            • Z. Cozart: Strike looking, Cozart flied out to right
            • M. Trout: Trout grounded out to third
            • J. Upton: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Upton struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Richards Pitching:
            • R. Rua: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Rua struck out swinging
            • S. Choo: Ball, Choo lined out to center
            • J. Profar: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Profar walked
            • E. Andrus: Andrus reached on fielder's choice to third, Profar out at second
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • D. Fister Pitching:
            • L. Valbuena: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Valbuena grounded out to first
            • M. Maldonado: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Maldonado grounded out to third
            • R. Schimpf: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Schimpf struck out looking
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Richards Pitching:
            • N. Mazara: Ball, Mazara grounded out to second
            • J. Gallo: Ball, Ball, Gallo singled to center
            • R. Chirinos: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Chirinos struck out swinging
            • D. Robinson: Ball, Ball, Robinson grounded out to second
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • D. Fister Pitching:
            • Z. Cozart: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Cozart singled to shallow center
            • M. Trout: Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Trout singled to left, Cozart to second
            • J. Upton: Pickoff attempt to second, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Upton struck out looking
            • A. Pujols: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Pujols struck out swinging
            • K. Calhoun: Calhoun singled to shallow right center, Cozart scored, Trout to third
            • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Simmons lined out to right
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • G. Richards Pitching:
            • S. Choo: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Choo struck out looking
            • R. Odor: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Odor walked
            • E. Andrus: Foul, Strike looking, Andrus flied out to right
            • Jurickson Profar ran for Rougned Odor
            • A. Beltre: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Beltre struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)