ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols passed Babe Ruth for fifth place on baseball’s career RBI chart, but the Seattle Mariners added four more homers to their major league-leading power binge in a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
Pujols tied Ruth when he drove in Andrelton Simmons with a double in the third inning, and passed the Babe by hitting his 636th homer in the ninth. Pujols has 1,993 RBIs, surpassing Ruth’s total from the portion of his career after RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
But the Angels couldn’t follow up Pujols’ one-out homer off Anthony Swarzak, who finished off his third save and Los Angeles’ sixth consecutive defeat.
Mitch Haniger and Daniel Vogelbach homered in the first inning before Edwin Encarnacion and Domingo Santana connected later, giving the Mariners 53 homers already this season.
Yusei Kikuchi earned his first major league win, persevering through five innings of 10-hit ball with plenty of help from his homer-happy teammates.
Dee Gordon delivered a two-run single for his 1,000th career hit in the fourth inning for the Mariners, who improved to 11-1 on the road with their third straight win in Anaheim. Seattle has scored 97 runs in those 12 road games while winning nine in a row to match the third-longest road winning streak in team history.
The Mariners already have the second-most homers in March and April in big league history, albeit with a head start from their March 20-21 series in Japan against Oakland and the March 28 start to the rest of the big league season. Only Mark McGwire’s 2000 St. Louis Cardinals hit more homers before May, pounding out 55 in just 25 games — but those Cardinals hit 53 in their first 24 games, the same number as these improbable Mariners.
Kikuchi (1-1), who attended the same high school as injured Angels star Shohei Ohtani, finally won in his sixth start since joining Seattle in the offseason.
Simmons had three hits, but the Angels couldn’t keep up with Seattle’s bats — not even Mike Trout, who went 0 for 4 with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Mariners already set the franchise record for most homers in March and April by hitting four on Friday night, and they promptly added two more off Trevor Cahill in the first inning.
Haniger connected on the third pitch from Cahill (1-2) for the fourth leadoff homer of his career. Encarnacion chased Cahill in the fifth with his sixth homer.
Cahill once was a difficult pitcher to take deep, but that has changed since he pulled on a Halos cap. He has served up eight homers this season, matching the total he allowed in 2018 with Oakland.
Jonathan Lucroy and Brian Goodwin drove in runs in the fifth to trim Seattle’s lead to 5-4, but Kikuchi got through the inning.
Santana homered against Luke Bard leading off the seventh.
Ruth’s career began in 1914, but baseball’s official records don’t count his RBIs with the Boston Red Sox before 1920. Pujols also is closing in on Lou Gehrig (1,994) and Barry Bonds (1,996) on the career RBI chart. Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) lead the list.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney is expected to throw a bullpen next week in his return from elbow inflammation. … LHP Tyler Skaggs threw off a mound for the first time since spraining his ankle last week.
Jaime Barria (1-1, 5.87 ERA) makes his first home start of the season after coming up from the minors Monday to take a loss in Texas. Seattle sends out Mike Leake (2-1, 3.86), who is coming off a hard-luck loss after throwing six innings of two-run ball Tuesday.