ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Albert Pujols reached another milestone and helped the Los Angeles Angels end a skid.
Pujols tied Mickey Mantle for 16th place on the career home run list, Kole Calhoun drove in a career-high four runs and the Angels stopped a season-high, five-game losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 on Tuesday night.
"It's pretty special," Pujols said. "Mickey's a legend. My goal is try to help this team to win. I'm glad I was able to do that."
Pujols hit his 536th homer to tie the New York Yankees great, an opposite-field shot to right on an 0-1 pitch from Nathan Karns (3-3) in the fifth inning. Pujols has eight homers in his last 11 games, and 16 overall this season.
"Every time Albert hits a home run, it's just fun to experience," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's a special time."
Mike Schmidt is 15th with 548 home runs.
Calhoun had an RBI double during a two-run first, a run-scoring single in the sixth and a two-run single in a three-run eighth.
"It was nice to break out on this trip," Calhoun said.
Matt Shoemaker (4-4) improved to 3-0 in three starts against Tampa Bay after allowing two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Joey Butler had two RBI for the Rays, who returned home following a 7-3 road trip. Tampa Bay (31-28) is 14-17 at home.
Pujols broke a tie for 15th place with George Brett by getting his 1,120th extra-base hit, a leadoff double in the third. Pujols scored on David Freese's double. His homer moved him within one extra-base hit of tying Manny Ramirez (1,122) for 14th place.
"Great player, future Hall of Famer," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Would prefer for him to go ahead and get out of Tampa."
Freese, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games, left late in the game with right hamstring tightness. His status will be evaluated Wednesday.
After the Rays were limited to one hit through five innings, Butler drove in two runs with a double on Tampa Bay's third consecutive one-out hit in the sixth.
Karns gave up five runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay made three errors for the first time since Aug. 12 at Texas.
"Probably not our best game played," Cash said.