Pujols goes 0-for-3 in quest for first career cycle …

Albert Pujols, Tomas TelisAll he needed was a homer.

In the first inning of the Angels’ 8-1 win over the Rangers on Wednesday, Albert Pujols hit his first triple since 2010 (and only the 16th of his career). In the third, he laced a double (then got thrown out diving back to the bag after deciding he shouldn’t try for a second triple). In the fifth, he singled to right field (on a blooper that could’ve been caught by Rangers first baseman Adam Rosales).

The next three plate appearances: Grounder to short, grounder to short, grounder to short.

Were you searching for the homer?

“My fifth at-bat,” Pujols admitted, “just to give it a ride. … When you’re swinging the bat great, and seeing the ball good like I was tonight, you don’t go out there looking for a homer. I would say my fifth at-bat I did. I went out there with nobody on and see if I can put a good barrel and have it carry.”

Pujols has never hit for the cycle. On 32 occasions, he’s fallen a triple short. On three occasions — most recently Sept. 8, 2007 — he’s fallen a homer short.

“It would’ve been pretty cool, especially with the win,” Pujols said.

“It’s not easy. That’s why you don’t see it every day. It’s pretty tough to do. Everybody says the hardest part is to get that triple, which I believe it is, but that homer, too, is pretty tough.”

Alden

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