ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron drove in runs to back starter Hector Santiago and lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-1 victory over the struggling Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Pujols snapped a scoreless tie with a sixth-inning single off rookie Blake Snell (1-4). Cron followed with a RBI grounder that the Rays, who’ve lost 19 of 22, were unable to turn into an inning-ending double play.
The last-place Angels, who’ve taken three straight for their longest winning streak in nearly two months, added two more runs in the eighth on Cron’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly and a perfectly executed double steal that saw Pujols swipe second base while Mike Trout sprinted home without drawing a throw to make it 4-0.
Santiago (6-4) allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings, improving to 8-1 in the month of July since joining the Angels in 2014. The left-hander walked four and struck out nine.