ANAHEIM, Calif. — For Albert Pujols, the home runs keep coming and the records keep falling.
The Angels slugger hit a three-run homer Tuesday night, the 610th of his career, snapping his tie for eighth on the career list with Sammy Sosa to become baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Los Angeles also got a three-run homer from Kaleb Cowart, pummeling the Texas Rangers 10-1 to keep the Angels a half-game back of the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card.
Pujols’ record home run was his 19th of the season.
“It’s pretty special,” Pujols said. “Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Los Angeles righty Ricky Nolasco allowed a run over 4 2/3 innings, and Keynan Middleton (5-1) followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the victory.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 13 games and pounded out 16 hits Tuesday. Cowart’s home run came in the fifth to give the Angels a 6-1 lead. It was his third home run of the season.
“We had a really good offensive game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Even starting off where we left some ducks on the pond, but we came back and really got some clutch hits.”
The Rangers got nine hits but left 10 runners on base.
“We managed some baserunners, but kind of that nemesis of ours, the offense gets tough for us and we’re incapable of coming up with the big hit,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Pujols hit his homer in the seventh against right-hander Nick Gardewine, who was making his major league debut. The three runs were unearned because of an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus.