Albert Pujols celebrates with Torii Hunter after Pujols hit his 14th home… (Harry How / Getty Images )
The Angels got a jump on Home Run Derby festivities Sunday, driving four balls over the wall in a 6-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that pushed their record to 48-38 entering the All-Star break.
Left-hander Brad Mills, filling in for injured right-hander Dan Haren, gave up three hits in five shutout innings, striking out six and walking none, to earn the victory in his Angels debut.
Relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Kevin Jepsen, Jordan Walden and Ernesto Frieri each threw scoreless innings to complete the Angels’ major league-leading 13th shutout of the season.
Erick Aybar hit a solo homer to left-center field off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen, his second of the season, and Mike Trout crushed a solo homer over both bullpens in left field, his 12th of the season, with two outs in the third.
Torii Hunter followed Trout’s shot with a bloop double to center, and Albert Pujols barely cleared the left-field wall with his 14th homer of the season, giving the Angels a 4-0 lead.
Maicer Izturis’ run-scoring single in the fourth made it 5-0. With two outs in the fifth, Mark Trumbo, who will participate in Monday’s Home Run Derby in Kansas City, a prelude to Tuesday’s All-Star game, drove his team-leading 22nd homer of the year to left-center to make it 6-0.
Mills, acquired from Toronto last winter in a trade for catcher Jeff Mathis, started on three days' rest, having thrown three innings for triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
He gave up a leadoff double to Robert Andino in the first but got out of the jam by striking out J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters and getting Adam Jones to fly to center on a 69-mph curve. The Orioles managed just two more singles off Mills, who threw 88 pitches, 59 for strikes.
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