MLB: Angels close on Rangers
Pujols homers twice in win over Texas
Last Updated: 01/08/12 7:30am
Albert Pujols: Hits two homers as the Angels secured a 6-2 win over Texas
Albert Pujols impressed as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers 6-2 on close the gap on their opponents in the American League West division.
Pujols hit two home runs while Jered Weaver gave up two runs in six 1/3 innings as the Angels moved to within three games of Texas in the standings.
The Cincinnati Reds survived a scare before defeating the San Diego Padres 7-6 for their 18th win in 21 games.
The Reds, who saw their 10-game winning streak ended by San Diego on Monday, looked to be cruising to victory as they raced into a 6-0 lead by the third inning, but they saw that advantage wiped out in one go in the fourth inning as the Padres levelled the scores up at 6-6.
The National League Central leaders recovered from that shock though to clinch the victory when Brandon Phillips hit a solo shot in the seventh inning from the final pitch by Jason Marquis.
Fourth straight loss
American League East pacesetters the New York Yankees were not so lucky after losing a big lead of their own against the Baltimore Orioles, though.
The Yankees tied a season-worst run of four successive losses after surrendering a five-run advantage en route to an 11-5 loss.
In a thrilling start to the match, Baltimore's Chris Davis hit a go-ahead grand slam in a seven-run second inning.
The Atlanta Braves were celebrating their seventh straight win as they downed the Miami Marlins 7-1 to close to within two 1/2 games of Washington at the top of the NL East after the Nationals slumped to an 8-0 loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cliff Lee produced a fine performance to help the Phillies end their three-match losing streak in style, pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing one walk and striking out seven in the victory, while he also hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth.
Boston claimed their fourth successive win after beating Detroit 4-1 in a match stopped by rain in the top of the sixth inning.
AJ Pierzynski hit a two-run homer in the ninth as the Chicago White Sox saw off Minnesota 4-3 while Kansas City brought to an end a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over Cleveland.
In other matches, AJ Burnett pitched a shutout as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Chicago Cubs 5-0, while Matt Holliday homered, doubled and drove in four runs as St Louis beat Colorado 11-6.
Also, NL West leaders San Francisco beat the New York Mets 4-1 to extend their advantage over second-placed Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 8-2 against Arizona, Seattle won 7-2 against Toronto,
Milwaukee thrashed Houston 10-1 and Tampa Bay were similarly convincing in defeating Oakland 8-0.