ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run, the 569th of his career, and Nick Tropeano threw 6 2/3 strong innings to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Monday night.
The Angels have won eight of their last 11 games.
Pujols’ homer in the third inning tied him for 12th in career homers with Rafael Palmeiro.
Tropeano (3-2) allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six. He has held opponents to two runs or fewer in seven of nine starts and lowered his ERA to 2.86.
Texas’ Derek Holland (3-4) pitched 6 2/3 innings, matching his longest outing of the season, and allowed two runs on seven hits.
Joe Smith got his sixth save of the season. Angels relievers stranded two runners in the seventh inning, three in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Los Angeles starters have held opponents to two total runs in their last 27 innings.
Holland has lost all three of his decisions in May. He went into the game 2-0 in three previous home starts.
Pujols’ home run followed a double by Mike Trout, who had two hits. Trout is hitting .352 in his last 37 games after opening the season at .185.
Tropeano retired 10 straight before Elvis Andrus’ two-out single in the seventh inning. That extended Andrus’ hitting streak to nine straight, a club high this season.
Johnny Giavotella had two hits to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. Giavotella also made a diving catch on a liner hit by Adrian Beltre in the eighth.
Jared Hoying was called up from Triple-A Round Rock and made his major league debut starting in left field for Texas after outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Drew Stubbs were placed on the disabled list. Slugging prospect Joey Gallo was also called up and flied out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Before the game, Texas announced that Yu Darvish would make his first major league start since August 2014 on Saturday against Pittsburgh. Darvish had Tommy John surgery in March 2015.
Angels: Closer Huston Street (oblique) is scheduled to throw in an extended spring training game on Friday after pitching a simulated inning at Globe Life Park on Monday.
Rangers: LF Josh Hamilton (knee), sidelined since March, will have another surgery on June 8 and will miss the entire season. OFs Choo (hamstring) and Stubbs (toe) were placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, Choo retroactive to Saturday.
Angels RHP Jhoulys Chacin (1-2) has two no-decisions since being acquired from Atlanta. He allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in the Angels’ win over the Dodgers on Thursday. The four May starts made by Rangers LHP Martin Perez (1-4) have resulted in two losses and two no-decisions despite a 2.59 ERA. In Perez’s nine starts this season, the Rangers have scored one run or fewer five times.