3/23/2014 7:10 P.M. ET
Pujols helps Halos extend spring win streak
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, Albert Pujols hit his first triple in an Angels uniform -- Spring Training or regular season -- and the Halos won their fifth Cactus League game in a row, beating the Indians, 5-2, on Sunday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Richards, lined up to be the club's fourth starter, gave up three hits, walked three and struck out two while dropping his spring ERA to 3.50. The 25-year-old right-hander left the seventh with two on and one out, but Michael Kohn got a groundout and a strikeout to keep Cleveland scoreless.
"I felt good today," Richards said. "My body feels good. I got ahead of guys. Early ground balls were nice. Just pounding the zone."
One half-inning after making a diving stop on a groundball at first base, Pujols hit a deep drive to right-center field to plate Mike Trout and slid into third safely -- drawing a smile from ex-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who was watching from the press box. Josh Hamilton, who made a nice sliding catch in left-field foul territory in the sixth, followed with an RBI groundout, then gave the Angels their third run with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly and added a single in the eighth.
Zach McAllister, the Indians' No. 3 starter, gave up just those three runs in six innings, scattering six hits, walking one and striking out three -- five days after allowing six runs on nine hits in three innings.
"I felt good. I felt like I got into a rhythm and was able to locate some pitches pretty well," McAllister said. "I also had some pretty good defense behind me. [Mike] Aviles made a great play for me to make it a shorter inning for me. I was happy with it today. I felt like it was definitely one of the better ones for me this spring. That was nice to have."
Lonnie Chisenhall, competing with Carlos Santana for at-bats at third base, went 1-for-3 with a strikeout. Nyjer Morgan, vying for a spot off the bench, went 0-for-2 while starting in center field.
Trout landed awkwardly on a diving attempt in the third inning, then struck out looking in his next two plate appearances before exiting. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said "he's fine."
The Indians broke through in the eighth on a groundout by Joe Sever off of reliever Cory Rasmus.
Ian Stewart homered and Kaleb Cowart delivered an RBI single for the Angels in the eighth to make it 5-1.
In the ninth, David Cooper made it a three-run deficit for the Tribe with an RBI single.
Up next: Tyler Skaggs makes his fifth start of the spring on Monday at 1:05 p.m. PT, when the Angels host the Giants at Tempe Diablo Stadium for their final Cactus League home game. Watch the action live on MLB.TV or Prime Ticket. Skaggs, who will face off against righty Ryan Vogelsong, looks like a lock to be the Halos' fifth starter, but is looking to bounce back from a start in which he admittedly couldn't command any of his pitches. The 22-year-old left-hander gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings against the White Sox on Wednesday, and now has a 6.14 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.