Anaheim, CA – Albert Pujols' homerless drought, the longest of his career, ended at 139 at-bats when he launched a two-run bomb in the fifth inning to help the Angels best the Blue Jays, 4-3, in the finale of a four-game set Sunday.
"I put a good swing on it. It's all about making adjustments," the three-time MVP said. "The fans wanted to see it, I heard the boos; it's part of the game. But the cheers were louder."
Pujols, the 12-year-veteran who signed a 10-year $240 million contract during the offseason, was hitting just .194 entering Sunday and had been given the night off on Satuday.
Jerome Williams (3-1) picked up the victory, scattering eight hits and three runs, two earned, with a walk and four strikeouts, as Los Angeles finished off a split in the series.
"I wasn't as sharp as last game, but when I needed to bear down, I did. I got outs when I needed to," Williams said.
It was not all good news for the hosts, however. Angels closer Scott Downs entered in the ninth but left the game with an apparent left leg injury sustained while attempting to avoid a line drive hit by J.P. Arencibia.
LaTroy Hawkins replaced Downs and promptly got Omar Vizquel to line into a game-ending double play for his first save of the season.
Blue Jays' rookie starter Drew Hutchison (1-1) suffered the setback despite setting a new career-high with six strikeouts. He allowed four runs on eight hits while walking none. Arencibia tallied three hits and scored twice in defeat.
"Hutch kept us in the game," said Toronto manager John Farrell. "We're putting ourselves into a position to score runs...We're going to battle until the final out."
With the count even at 2-2 and Mike Trout at second, Pujols reached out and smacked Hutchison's slider into the bullpen in left field.
He received a standing ovation from the LA crowd as he trotted around the bases to give the team a 4-1 lead.
The Angels had taken the lead an inning earlier, when Maicer Izturis and Kendrys Morales reached on singles and were plated by hits from Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo, respectively.
Toronto got on the board in the third when Arencibia singled to open the inning and came around to score on Eric Thames' base hit after a pair of groundouts.
The Jays trimmed their deficit to two in the sixth, when Jose Bautista slugged a double off the wall in left and touched home on a sacrifice fly from Edwin Encarnacion two batters later, and one in the seventh, on Kelly Johnson's RBI single.
But they hit into double plays in the eighth and ninth and could not complete the comeback.
Pujols had gone 110 at-bats without a home run this season...Pujols committed his first error of the season in the seventh...Toronto was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, while Los Angeles was 5-for-13...Los Angeles travels to Minnesota for a three-game series beginning Monday...Toronto continues a 10-game road trip with two at Oakland starting Tuesday.