By HAL McCOY
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looked like anything but a last place team Monday night to the Cincinnati Reds. But then the Arizona Diamondbacks looked like anything but a last place team to the Reds Sunday.
After Arizona blasted the Reds Sunday, 11-2, the Angels brought out their thundersticks and crushed five home runs en route to a 9-2 victory Monday.
And the Reds set a dubious record in the process. It was the eighth time this season Cincinnati pitchers have given up five or more home runs in a game — an all-time record.
REDS STARTER DAN STRAILY entered the game with a 6-and-0 record since the All-Star game and the Reds had won all eight of his starts. But after his teammates gave him a 2-0 lead in the first, Straily was down by 7-2 in the third inning after giving up four home runs in 2 2/3 innings.
It was much more than Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker needed. In his five previous starts at home he had given up only four runs — all four on solo home runs.
After Votto’s first-inning home run, the Reds were helpless against Shoemaker over his next six innings — no runs, only five more hits, no walks and seven strikeouts for his seven innings.
BILLY HAMILTON OPENED THE game with a first-pitch single and stole second. Votto also picked on a first pitch and propelled his 22nd home run into the left field seats.
Straily couldn’t handle the prosperity.
His first pitch of the bottom of the first was ripped into the right field corner by Kole Calhoun for a double. Then the game was tied on Straily’s third pitch, a 2-and-0 home run launched over the center field wall by Mike Trout.
And the next batter, Albert Pujols, untied it quickly. Pujols, who feasted on Reds pitching when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (.345), hit his 586th career home run. That tied him for ninth on the all-time career home run list with former Reds outfielder Frank Robinson.
It also was the 1,200th extra base hit for Pujols and he reached that plateau quicker than any player in major league history with the exception of Hank Aaron.
STRAILY PITCHED A 1-2-3 second to the bottom of the order, but the Angels hefty top of the order nailed him again in the third.
Trout doubled and Pujols singled him home. C.J. Cron then hit one to Disneyland, a two-run rip to make it 6-2. Two batters later, Jefry Marte joined the Angels’ Home Run Derby and it was 7-2. Two batters later Straily issued a walk and his night was finished.
But the Angels weren’t finished. Alfredo Simon, recalled off rehab Monday, replaced Straily and Kole Calhoun led the fourth inning with the home team’s fifth home run of the game.
SIMON ESCAPED A TWO-ON and one out problem in the sixth, but the Angels added a run in the seventh. First baeman Votto misplayed a ground ball hit by Cron that was ruled a hit and he scored on Marte’s double to make it 9-2.
Straily’s 1-2-3 second inning was the only inning in which the Angels didn’t have at least one baserunner.
The Reds have lost three of the first four on the trip and have lost six of their last eight.