Pujols Ends Hitless Streak, Angels Still in Slump

Pinch-hitter Brandon Allen hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the Tampa Bay Rays over the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 on Thursday.

Allen, recently acquired off waivers from Oakland, homered off closer Jordan Walden (0-1) after B.J. Upton had a one-out single.

Brandon Gomes (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth, helping the Rays win their fifth straight.

Albert Pujols went 1 for 4, ending his hitless streak at 21 at-bats when the Angels' slugger rolled a grounder up the middle to beat a three-man defensive shift. He was thrown out attempting to stretch the single into a double.

Pujols' hitless streak was the longest of his career, surpassing a 0-for-18 stretch from Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2010.

Pujols had not gone hitless in five straight games since 2001, his rookie season in St. Louis.
Pujols, with 445 homers, has not gone deep in 19 games this season, a span of 76 at-bats.

Dating to Sept. 22, Pujols has not hit a home run in 105 at-bats, tying his longest regular-season drought from April 23-May 23, 2011.

The first baseman, who signed with the Angels as a free agent for more than $254 million, has yet to hit a home run this season in 72 at-bats, his longest homerless streak to begin a season.

The 32-year-old, who boasts a career average of .327, is hitting a paltry .222 this season with only four RBIs, as he goes up against many pitchers he has not previously faced.

"It's different for him," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "Everything is different. This league is different, the pitchers are different. ... I can't say that's the main reason, but everything is different. And he's going to get used to it."

Based on reporting by NewsCore and the Associated Press.

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