Angels down Cards despite another quiet night from Pujols
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Albert Pujols failed to get a hit in his first appearance against his former team, but the Angels rode seven strong innings from Jered Weaver to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1, to open a three-game series.
Pujols, who spent the first 11 seasons with the Cardinals and won a pair of World Series, struck out twice against Lance Lynn as part of an 0-for-3 night.
He is hitting just .247 this season. That's easily his lowest so far in his career. His average has gone down every year since peaking at .357 in 2008 when he won the second of his three NL MVP awards.
Following Pujols' second World Series title in 2011, the nine-time All-Star signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels. He hit .285 last season and is currently mired in a 2-for-25 slump.
"It was a little weird, but it would have been a little different if this game was in St. Louis," Pujols said. "Yadier (Molina) was messing with me. He's like my little brother. Obviously, they pitched me well today."
Weaver (2-4) allowed six hits and a run while fanning five to snap a five- start winless stretch and get his first victory since May 29 against the Dodgers.
"Going up against a tough lineup, execution was key," Weaver said. "I tried to keep those guys off-balance and I had good defense behind me."
Mark Trumbo's sparkling defensive play started a double play that finished the top of the eighth inning after the Cardinals loaded the bases.
Howie Kendrick had three hits and scored once of the five second-inning runs for the Angels, who have won seven in a row, but are still stuck in third place in the AL West.
Lynn (10-3) was charged with nine hits and five runs and fanned six over six innings, and was dealt a second straight defeat.
"After the second inning, Lance made adjustments, but five runs is a long way to come back, especially against a guy like Weaver," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
The Cardinals, who lost for the seventh time in nine games, had a golden opportunity to get back in the game in the eighth inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out against Kevin Jepsen with singles from Molina, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig. Scott Downs then struck out Mike Adams before Trumbo made the defensive play of the night.
David Freese hit a sharp grounder to a diving Trumbo to start a 3-6-1 double play to stop a potential rally.
Dane De La Rosa retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Angels started the second with four straight singles, including RBI hits from Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo. After Chris Iannetta fouled out, Erick Aybar and J.B. Shuck hit singles to score runs. Mike Trout reached safely on an error from second baseman Matt Carpenter, which allowed Aybar to come home with the fifth run.
Craig scored on Freese's groundout in the fourth.
Matt Holliday was scratched from the St. Louis lineup due to a stiff neck and back ... Carpenter extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... The Cardinals, who are making their first ever trip to Anaheim, went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
07/03 01:33:59 ET