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Angels beat Rays with Albert Pujols and a history book

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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.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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