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             === Pujols, Angels go for series win against Nats ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - Albert Pujols didn't homer in Monday's opener against
 the Washington Nationals, but the veteran did help the Los Angeles Angels
 rally for a victory.
 
 The slugging first baseman will try to lead the Angels to another victory on
 Tuesday night in the middle contest of a three-game set with the Nationals.
 
 Much of the focus of Monday's opener was on the matchup between two of the
 youngest stars in the game: Los Angeles' Mike Trout and Bryce Harper of
 Washington.
 
 However, it was the 34-year-old Pujols and 41-year-old Raul Ibanez that keyed
 the Angels in the 4-2 win.
 
 Held without a run through the first seven innings, Pujols began the eighth
 frame by reaching base on shortstop Ian Desmond's eighth error of the season.
 Pujols then stole second and moved to third on Howie Kendrick's infield
 single.
 
 Following Brennan Boesch's pop out, Aybar plated Pujols for the game-tying run
 with a single to right and after Chris Iannetta drew a walk to load the bases,
 a pinch-hitting Ibanez cleared the bases with a double to left center.
 
 "Everybody likes being up in that spot," Ibanez said. "That's what you play
 for, that's what you compete for -- to try to be up in that spot -- since you
 were a kid in the backyard playing."
 
 Desmond tried to atone for his error with a lead off homer in the ninth
 inning, but Ernesto Frieri settled down to secure his second save of the
 campaign.
 
 The Angels snapped a two-game slide even though Pujols remained stuck on 498
 career home runs. He is two shy of becoming the 26th player in Major League
 history to reach the 500-homer mark.
 
 Desmond, meanwhile, was charged with two errors in Monday's loss and also is
 hitting just .234 through 20 games.
 
 "I'm not making the plays," Desmond said of his defense this season. "I'm a
 big-league shortstop, it's not that tough."
 
 Washington fell to 2-3 on an 11-game homestand as Harper went 0-for-3 with a
 walk.
 
 Trout had two hits in five at-bats.
 
 The Angels go for the series win tonight behind lefty Tyler Skaggs, who has
 logged a pair of no-decisions since winning his Los Angeles debut back on
 April 5.
 
 Skaggs beat Houston on that day after allowing just one unearned run over
 eight innings, but has since yielded four runs in both of his no-decisions,
 though the Angels won both.
 
 That includes Wednesday's 5-4 decision over Oakland as the 22-year-old Skaggs
 logged six innings.
 
 Washington goes with 25-year-old Taylor Jordan, who has been roughed up in two
 straight losses.
 
 Jordan gave up five runs over five innings at Atlanta on April 12, then
 allowed seven runs -- five earned -- over 5 1/3 frames of an 8-0 setback to
 St. Louis on Thursday.
 
 The right-hander has never before faced the Angels, while Skaggs will be
 facing the Nats for the first time as well.
 
 The Angels have won four straight and six of the last seven meetings with the
 Nationals, including a three-game sweep at home in the previous encounter
 during the 2011 campaign.
 
 04/22 10:34:25 ET