Albert Pujols had a three-run homer and an RBI double to help the Los Angeles Angels end a six-game losing streak with a 6-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.
Kevan Smith had three hits and Andrelton Simmons had two hits and scored twice for the Angels (68-82).
The Rays (89-62) had their lead over the Cleveland Indians for the second wild-card spot from the American League trimmed to 1 1/2 games, and they fell 1 1/2 games behind the Oakland A's for the first wild card.
Austin Meadows hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Tampa Bay to cut the lead to 6-4.
Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (11-4) hadn't lost since June 13 against the visiting Angels, going 6-0 in his past 15 outings with a 2.43 ERA.
Yarbrough allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two.
The Angels led 3-1 entering the fifth when David Fletcher walked to start the inning and Simmons followed with a single, setting the stage for the three-run homer by Pujols.
Angels rookie left-hander Patrick Sandoval allowed one run and two hits in four innings, not long enough to be eligible for his first major league win. He struck out four and walked one in his seventh start.
Noe Ramirez (5-3) pitched 1-2-3 fifth and sixth innings for Los Angeles. Hansel Robles recorded the final four outs for his 21st save.
Tommy Pham reached on an infield single to start the game. Avisail Garcia followed with a one-out single to put runners on the corners and set up a sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar for a 1-0 lead.
The Angels tied the score at 1-1 in their half of the first on the RBI double by Pujols.
Jared Walsh delivered another one-out RBI double in the second to make it 2-1, and Luis Rengifo and Fletcher followed with back-to-back singles for a 3-1 lead.
The Angels announced before the game that center fielder Mike Trout needs surgery on his right foot and would miss the rest of the season.
--Field Level Media