Long ball helps Halos snap vexing funk

Long ball helps Halos snap vexing funk

ANAHEIM -- As he's done countless times throughout his storied career, Albert Pujols turned momentum in his team's favor with one swing.

Pujols launched a three-run homer to spark a 7-6 comeback win for the Angels against the Mariners on Tuesday. The slugger's blast tied the game at 4 in the sixth inning, breathing life into a club that had suffered through 11 straight defeats.

"Albert always comes through for us like that it feels like," said Angels catcher Jett Bandy, who followed Pujols with a solo shot to give the Angels a brief, 5-4 lead. "It was great, it was just like a new ball game and we were right back in it."

For Pujols, it was career homer No. 582, moving him within one of tying former teammate Mark McGwire for 10th on baseball's all-time home run list.

It was Pujols' first homer since a walk-off blast against the A's on Aug. 3, which had been the most recent Angels win before Tuesday.

Pujols has been on a tear in the second half, as he leads Major League Baseball with 32 RBIs. For the season, he's tied with Boston's David Ortiz for second in the American League with 92 runs driven in. Pujols also leads the Majors with 56 games with at least one RBI.

"He's been doing it all year," said Cliff Pennington, who capped the Angels' rally with a go-ahead triple to score Bandy with two outs in the eighth. "He just did it again, drove in some big runs. Obviously a three-run homer is huge and it got us some life and got us back in it."

Tuesday's win was about more than just Pujols, though.

Pujols' game-tying home run

Mike Trout got things going in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, his 10th RBI in as many games.

Bandy's solo shot gave the Angels back-to-back homers for the fourth time this year. The catcher, not known for his speed, scored from first with two outs in the eighth on triple by Pennington, who rebounded from an error that led to a Mariners run in the seventh.

Jefry Marte, playing for the first time since being drilled in the left shoulder by a pitch on Sunday, tied the game at 6 with a two-out homer in the eighth.

The Angels twice rallied from deficits in their final three at-bats, bailing out starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (charged with four runs in 4 2/3 innings) and reliever JC Ramirez, who threw two wild pitches that allowed the Mariners to regain the lead in the seventh.

"Even though we cracked the door back open for them, our guys kept playing and we got some big hits, some big home runs from Albert and Jefry and Jett," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We kept playing baseball and that was fun to watch."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.