The Tampa Bay Rays were battered so thoroughly Thursday night that it must have seemed as if Mickey Mantle himself was joining the onslaught.
Alas, it was only Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who tied Mantle for 16th place on the all-time home run list at 536 when he hit his 16th of the season. Pujols is now 12 behind Mike Schmidt, 19 behind Manny Ramirez and 23 behind Reggie Jackson. The home run also gave Pujols 1,121 extra base hits, good for 15th on the all-time list.
For the Angels, Pujols’ historic night was just part of the pummeling. The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 11-for-20, knocking in five runs and scoring all eight.
For the Rays, it was a disappointing way to come home after going 7-3 on their road trip.
Rookie Nathan Karns gave up nine hits in 5 2/3 inning, the most of the year, and four of his five runs were earned.
It was a rough night for the Rays, who had held Seattle to fewer runs (fourth ) in their entire series than they did Los Angeles. The Angels scored two in the first and added runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings before three in the eighth. If the Angels’ hitting was enough of a problem, the Rays also committed a season-high three errors, two of them in third.
The Rays’ two runs came on a double by Joey Butler in the sixth. It was the sixth consecutive home loss for the Rays.
The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez (4-2) pitches against Jared Weaver (4-5) tonight at y:10 p.m.