By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit a grand slam for his fourth homer in three days, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 on Saturday for their first back-to-back victories of the season.
Trout’s 458-foot blast in the fourth inning off Drew Smyly (0-1) cleared the bullpens beyond the left field fence at Angel Stadium. After homering in the Halos’ home opener Thursday and adding two more Friday, Trout delivered the biggest blow yet with his fifth career grand slam, his first since 2015.
Albert Pujols added his 634th career homer in the seventh for Los Angeles. Pujols’ first homer of his 19th big league season was his 3,089th career hit, tying Ichiro Suzuki for 22nd place in major league history.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa had an RBI single in the fifth for the Rangers, who couldn’t match the Angels’ big hits.
Trout is off to a dynamite start after cementing his future in Anaheim with a 12-year, $426.5 million contract before the season. He has reached base in all nine games this season, including four times Saturday while boosting his average to .385.
Tyler Skaggs (1-1) pitched 6 1/3 innings of five-hit ball in a strong outing for the Angels. The left-hander won his third consecutive start against Texas, giving up just two earned runs in 17 1/3 innings.
Smyly stranded six Angels runners in the first three innings, but Trout cleared the bases in the fourth on a high fastball after Peter Bourjos beat out an infield single to start the rally.
Trout has homered in three straight games for the seventh consecutive time in his career. He homered in four straight during May 2017.
Trout’s slam chased Smyly, who gave up six hits and three walks in his second start for his new team after two years of recovery following Tommy John surgery.
Pujols connected on the first pitch of the seventh inning by Adrian Sampson. He got his 1,984th career RBI, eight behind Babe Ruth for fifth place in baseball history.
David Fletcher had three hits, reached base four times and stole a base in his first game of the season as the Angels’ leadoff hitter.
Rangers: 1B Ronald Guzman left with tightness in his right hamstring in the third inning after running out his double to the right field wall.
Angels: Kole Calhoun ran into the right field wall while attempting to catch Guzman’s double in the third, but he stayed in the game after a long consultation with LA’s training staff. Calhoun left the game in the seventh inning after striking out three times.
Late-spring acquisition Chris Stratton (0-1, 8.31 ERA) makes his Angel Stadium debut after getting raked by Seattle in his first appearance for the Halos. Shelby Miller (0-0, 4.91) will make his second start for the Rangers in the finale of the four-game series.