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(Tuesday, April 22nd)
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 7, Washington 2
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Albert Pujols never faced Taylor Jordan over his 14-year career entering Tuesday's game at Nationals Park.
Jordan might like to keep it that way in the future.
Pujols joined elite company by hitting two homers off Jordan to reach 500 for his career and help the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a 7-2 win over the Washington Nationals.
Pujols hit a three-run homer off Jordan in the first inning and then tagged the 25-year old again in the sixth, this time of the two-run variety.
"To be able to do it in the same park that you hit 400, to say you reached two milestones like that is pretty special," Pujols said.
Pujols hit his 400th home run at Nationals Park as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 26, 2010.
When asked if he ever expected to hit 500 home runs, Pujols replied, "Never."
"My goal was always to try and help the organization I played for win a championship," he said.
The 34-year old became the first player in Major League history to hit No. 499 and No. 500 in the same game. He's the 26th player to reach the milestone and just the fourth to do so in his first 14 seasons, joining Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez and Willie Mays.
Only Jimmie Foxx and Rodriguez were younger (both age 32) when they hit their milestone shots.
Tyler Skaggs (2-0) surrendered two runs on three hits, but walked four with five strikeouts over seven innings to earn the win.
Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each collected two hits and scored a run for the Angels, while Mike Trout scored twice in Los Angeles' fifth straight win over the Nationals.
Jordan (0-3) was tagged for six runs -- four earned -- on eight hits with five strikeouts over five innings in the setback.
For the second straight night, Washington was held to just three hits as a team. The Nationals did not record a hit past the third inning on Tuesday.
J.B. Shuck led off the game with a double before Trout reached on an error by third baseman Anthony Rendon. Pujols then stepped in and drilled his first of the night over the left-field fence to give the Angels a 3-0 lead.
Raul Ibanez, the hero of Monday's 4-2 win over the Nationals, flied out to center in the next at-bat and Kendrick followed with a double to center. Kendrick moved to third on an Aybar groundout before David Freese was hit by a pitch.
Chris Iannetta split the gap between third and shortstop for a single to left that plated Kendrick. Jordan then struck out his counterpart Skaggs to end the inning.
"We don't want to come from behind, that's for sure," said Washington manager Matt Williams. "We have to do a better job of getting back in the dugout and let our offense go to work."
Sandy Leon doubled to lead off the home half of the third and Jordan followed with a bunt single -- what would be the last hit for Washington -- to put runners at the corners. Denard Span walked to load the bases and Skaggs uncorked a wild pitch during Danny Espinosa's at-bat that allowed Leon to cross home.
Espinosa was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Skaggs induced a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Jayson Werth. After a Rendon walk, Ian Desmond popped out to Pujols in foul territory to end the inning with the Nationals cutting the deficit in half, 4-2.
Trout singled to lead off the fifth and Pujols brought him around with a blast over the bullpen in left. The slugger was greeted by his teammates at home and then acknowledged the Washington faithful for a curtain call.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself to make that pitch and I didn't execute it," Jordan said of the second home run allowed to Pujols. "He's a great hitter and he's been doing it a long time."
Freese's sacrifice fly to right in the eighth accounted for the final margin, with Michael Kohn and Kevin Jepsen each hurling perfect innings to close it out for Los Angeles.
Pujols trails Eddie Murray by four homers for 25th place on the all-time list. He is 1-of-4 players born outside the United States to reach the feat, joining Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez ... Washington was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position ... Rendon committed two errors ... Los Angeles was 2-for-9 with RISP.
04/23 01:16:29 ET
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