ARLINGTON, Texas — Albert Pujols didn’t have to wait nearly as long for his first home run this year. He had to wait awhile for another chance to swing the bat, though.
Then he homered again.
Pujols went deep in his only two plate appearances that weren’t intentional walks to offset another tough day for Josh Hamilton in his second game back in Texas, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Rangers 8-4 Saturday.
Exactly a month earlier than he hit his first homer in his debut season for the Angels last year, Pujols drove a two-run shot to the lawn in center field off Matt Harrison in the first inning and watched Hamilton strike out twice behind him after taking two of three intentional walks.
The next — and last — time the Rangers let him swing, Pujols homered off reliever Jason Frasor in the sixth.
“I think it was a smart move,” said Hamilton, who is 1 for 20 with 10 strikeouts after signing a $125 million, five-year contract. “Albert was dominating today, obviously. If I was in their situation, I would have done the same thing.”
Mark Trumbo also had a two-run homer in the first against Harrison (0-2), who gave up eight hits and five runs in five innings after losing to Houston on opening night.
“The biggest thing was that first inning,” said Harrison, who has an 8.44 ERA through two starts. “The balls I left up in the zone were hit hard, and it just led to a four-spot in that first and put us in a big hole.”
Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler hit third-inning home runs against Tommy Hanson (1-0), who gave up three runs and six hits over six innings in his Angels debut after arriving in an offseason trade with Atlanta.
The boos were loud again for Hamilton, who said before the game that his wife had to call over security during Friday’s home opener for Texas because fans were shouting insults and obscenities at their family. There were no major incidents, and Hamilton said his family planned to return for the remaining two games.