ANAHEIM, Calif. – Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and drove in three runs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night.
Pujols’ 484th career homer and ninth of the season not only got Jered Weaver off the hook, but also third baseman Alberto Callaspo, whose third-inning fielding error led to a pair of unearned runs.
Cubs starter Scott Feldman took a 3-1 lead into the seventh before former Texas Rangers teammate Josh Hamilton led off with a double and scored on Howie Kendrick’s third single of the game, which made him 8 for 18 against the right-hander.
James Russell came in and retired the next three batters, including Callaspo on a sacrifice bunt. But Erick Aybar greeted Carlos Villanueva (1-4) with a leadoff single through the box, and Pujols drove his first-pitch homer over the double-decker bullpen in left field after Mike Trout flied out.
Robert Coello (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 13th save in 14 attempts.
Weaver struck out five and was charged with an earned run and six hits over six innings in his fourth start this season and second since coming off the disabled list. He is 0-2 with two no-decisions in four starts against Feldman, who spent his eight previous big league seasons with the AL West-rival Texas Rangers.
Feldman allowed two runs and six hits in six-plus innings.
The Angels, coming off an embarrassing four-game sweep by the visiting Houston Astros – the team with the worst record in the AL – won for the third time in nine games.
The Cubs snapped a 1-all tie in the third after Callaspo fumbled David DeJesus’ leadoff grounder on the infield grass, his fifth error this season and fourth in three games. One out later, Weaver walked Anthony Rizzo and gave up an RBI single to Alfonso Soriano. Ryan Sweeney, who had three hits, delivered the second run of the inning with a two-out single – his first RBI in 26 career at-bats against Weaver to that point.
The Cubs opened the scoring in the first on a broken-bat RBI single from Nate Schierholtz with two outs, after Weaver hit Luis Valbuena with a 1-2 pitch and gave up an opposite-field single to Rizzo. The Angels tied it in the bottom half on Pujols’ sacrifice fly, after a leadoff double by Aybar and an infield hit by Trout.
This is the Cubs’ second visit to Anaheim since interleague play began in 1997. They took two of three in 2004.
NOTES: With another Los Angeles vs. Chicago confrontation going on up the freeway at Staples Center between the Kings and Blackhawks in Game 3 of the NHL’s Western Conference finals, the baseball game drew 32,223 — 4,772 below the Angels’ season average. ... One catcher picked off the other at first base in the second inning when Chicago’s Welington Castillo caught Chris Iannetta leaning too far off the bag with runners at the corners. ... This was the first of eight home games the Angels will play against NL Central teams. ... Three of Weaver’s four starts have been against NL teams. ... The Angels have committed 39 errors, second-worst in the AL behind Houston’s 40. ... LHP Scott Downs relieved Weaver, pitching a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts in his first appearance since May 26.