The ball exploded off the bat of the Angels first baseman Saturday night, arced high through a twilight sky and landed well beyond the left-field fence for a sixth-inning home run.
"It comes with bat speed and squaring up the ball," Manager Mike Scioscia said of loud "thwack" produced by the homer. "He can leverage a ball as well as anyone in the game."
This is what the Angels expected from slugger Albert Pujols when they signed him to a 10-year, $240-million contract in December, only there was a small but very welcome glitch in the program Saturday.
The homerless Pujols and his unsightly .194 batting average were on the bench, and it was Mark Trumbo who started at first base and crushed the homer that sparked a three-run rally that pushed the Angels toward a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium.
C.J. Wilson continued to live up to the expectations that came with his five-year, $77.5-million contract, giving up two runs and six hits in eight innings and striking out nine to improve to 4-2 with a 2.61 earned-run average.
Mike Trout hit a solo homer in the fifth, a sacrifice fly in the sixth and doubled and scored on Kendrys Morales' eighth-inning single, the Angels turned two sacrifice bunt attempts into perfectly placed singles, they drew five walks, ran the bases aggressively and had five hits in 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"That was fun, a really sound game," Trumbo said. "We got great starting pitching, we executed, got some bunts down, moved runners and drove them in when it counted. We've had some of these elements, but this is the first game they call came together."
The Angels led, 2-1, when Trumbo led off the sixth with his fourth homer. Vernon Wells walked, Erick Aybar reached on an infield single, and Bobby Wilson's bunt single loaded the bases.
Trout greeted reliever Jason Frasor with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1, and Frasor threw wildly to second on Alberto Callaspo's potential double-play grounder for an error that allowed Aybar to score for a 5-1 lead.
Toronto's Adam Lind led off the seventh with a homer to make it 5-2, and Brett Lawrie doubled, but Wilson retired six of the next seven, Wells leaping at the wall to catch Edwin Encarnacion's drive with a runner on to end the eighth.
Reliever Ernesto Frieri, making his Angels debut after being acquired from San Diego on Thursday, struck out three of four in an impressive ninth, his fastball hitting 95 mph.
"We mixed in some bunts with good baserunning and situational hitting, and we drove the ball," Scioscia said. "When you have that mix and add Albert in there, you can see why we're excited about where this offense can eventually end up."
Pujols has been the poster boy for a struggling offense that scored 28 runs, an average of 2.3 a game, hit .190 (72 for 378) overall and .171 (12 for 70) with runners in scoring position the previous 12 games, including shutout losses Thursday and Friday.
But the Angels ended a 23-inning scoreless streak in the second Saturday when Wells doubled and scored on Bobby Wilson's single. Trout's homer to center in the fifth gave the Angels a 2-1 lead.