SEATTLE – After 17 years of torturing pitchers and systematically executing baseballs to death sentences, The Machine finally has 3,000 hits.
Albert Pujols slapped a two-seam fastball to the opposite field for a single in the fifth inning to become the 32nd player in MLB history with 3,000 hits and only the fourth player to have 3,000 hits and 600 home runs.
May baseball may lack importance, but the series between the Mariners and Angels will forever live in the record books as we’ve also seen the pseudo-retirement of Ichiro Suzuki while seemingly passing the torch to Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani, in addition to Pujols joining the 3,000 hit club.
Garrett Richards picked up his fourth win of the season behind 6 2/3 shutout innings as Richards and the bullpen combined to blank the Mariners and win their fourth straight.
On the offensive side, Andrelton Simmons had a shallow single to center field to drive home Pujols giving Los Angeles an early 1-0 lead. Simmons finished the game going 3-for-5.
In the fifth inning, Ohtani drove in Pujols after his memorable single to extend the lead to 3-0.
And then for good measure in the ninth, Pujols picked up hit 3,001, a single to left field, which drove in two more runs resulting in the 5-0 final.
The Angels will look to continue their winning ways and stay atop the AL West with Tyler Skaggs (3-2) on the mound for Saturday night.
Skaggs will face off against another southpaw in Marco Gonzales (3-2) who has allowed only two runs in his last two starts after early season struggles.