ANAHEIM (AP) — Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton hit two-run homers, Albert Pujols reached another milestone and the Los Angeles Angels rallied from an early deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Friday night.
With a single in the sixth inning, Pujols recorded his 1,000th career hit with the Angels. He became just the ninth player all-time with at least 1,000 hits in each league after getting 2,073 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Four former Angels are on the list: Dave Winfield, Frank Robinson, Vladimir Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera.
The Angels trailed 3-0 just four batters into the game. Starter Felix Pena regained his composure and gave up just two more hits and no runs while pitching into the sixth inning. Los Angeles improved to 8-1 over its last nine home games.
Matt Chapman and Khris Davis each hit home runs in the first inning for the A’s, who are now 13-6 since the All-Star break. Chapman hit his 16th homer while Davis’ two-run shot was his 33rd.
Calhoun connected for a two-run drive in the third, his 16th of the season and 11th over his last 25 games. Calhoun’s 15 home runs since June 18 lead the American League.
Calhoun had just one home run and was batting .145 over 50 games when he went to the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. In the 44 games since he has returned, he has hit 14 of his 15 home runs, with 34 runs scored and 35 RBIs.
Upton hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth off Lou Trivino (8-2).
Jim Johnson (4-2) retired the only batter he faced for the win. The Angels used three more pitchers in the ninth, with Blake Parker getting the final out for his 11th save.
Fernando Rodney made his A’s debut, striking out a batter during a perfect seventh inning. Rodney was acquired Thursday in a trade from the Minnesota Twins.
A’s manager Bob Melvin says Rodney doesn’t have a set role. Instead, Melvin expects to mix and match his late-inning relievers in a stacked Oakland bullpen.
“More than anything, it probably allows us to not overuse a Lou Trivino, to not overuse a Yusmeiro Petit,” Melvin said. “As much as we use our bullpen on certain days, we’re not afraid to move guys to the back end of the bullpen if a (Blake) Treinen or (Jeurys) Familia needs time off, so it just makes us better.”
Rodney had 25 saves for the Twins in 46 appearances with a 3.09 ERA, but the closer job will still belong to Treinen.
HALL OF FAMER
The Angels honored new Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero with an on-field pregame ceremony that pushed back first pitch about a half hour. Guerrero, who made quick introductory speech at Cooperstown last month, was even quicker when he spoke to the crowd in both English and Spanish on Friday.
“His forte is to not go up there and spew accolades about himself, and I think it makes him all the more special,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He was so beloved by his teammates because when he was playing, he was the best player on the planet but . never talking about himself. He was a special talent.”
Angels: Mike Trout was put on the 10-day disabled list with an inflamed right wrist. Scioscia expects his All-Star center fielder to return on Thursday when his DL stint ends. .
A’s: RHP Edwin Jackson (3-2, 2.87 ERA) will take the mound Saturday in the middle game of the series, carrying the sixth lowest ERA in the American League since his contract was selected June 25.
Angels: RHP Tyler Skaggs (8-7, 3.34) is expected to make his return from the disabled list Saturday, having not pitched since July 31 because of a left adductor strain.