Albert Pujols tripled and doubled to back a scoreless start by Garrett Richards in the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Cleveland starter Zach McAllister rebounded from a poor outing with six competitive innings. He allowed three runs and six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. McCallister gave up six runs and nine hits against San Francisco in his previous game. The right-hander went 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA last year.
Richards, the No. 3 starter in a revamped rotation, gave the Angels the kind of pitching performance they’ve been looking for in his fourth spring start. He allowed three hits over 61/3 shutout innings in his fourth spring start, lowering his ERA to 3.50. The right-hander went 7-8 with a 4.16 ERA in 47 games, including 17 starts, during his first full season with the Angels in 2013.
“I got ahead of guys,” Richards said. “The early ground balls were nice. ... I’m just building momentum with each start. The guys are going to put up runs. My job is to keep them in games.”
After a slow start, Pujols brought his spring average up to .326 with two extra-base hits in two at-bats. Josh Hamilton had two hits in three at-bats with two RBIs. Pujols tripled to right-center in the first to score Mike Trout. Hamilton’s grounder drove in Pujols, who also doubled in the fifth to set up Hamilton’s sacrifice fly.
“I liked the drive to right-center, let’s just put it that way,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.