Pujols, Harper, Davis provide triple play of surprises in baseball
Albert Pujols hits his first home run of the season for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in Anaheim.
May 7th, 2012
06:24 AM ET

Pujols, Harper, Davis provide triple play of surprises in baseball

Sunday was a triple play of surprises in Major League baseball.

First, Albert Pujols homered. No surprise for someone who's hit 446 home runs in a 12-year career, you say? Well, Pujols' homer was his first as a player for the Los Angeles Angels and his first in 110 at bats, a career-long homer drought for the former St. Louis Cardinal who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels during the winter.

The two-run blast ended up accounting for the winning runs as the Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 in Anaheim, California.

"I'm blessed that I had the opportunity to do it here in front of the fans," said Pujols after the game, according to a report in the Orange County Register. "They were being patient and waiting until the last couple of days, when I heard some boos. ... I was not performing the way everyone was expecting."

Teammates congratulate Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper after he stole home on Sunday.

While Pujols was finally winning over Angels fans, rookie outfielder Bryce Harper was continuing to delight Washington Nationals fans.

The 19-year-old Harper stole home in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming the first teenager to steal home in a Major League game since 1964, the Washington Post reported. It was also Harper's first stolen base in the big leagues.

It came after Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels hit Harper with a pitch to put him on base. Harper advanced to third on a Jason Werth single before swiping home.

Hamels admitted later he hit the rookie on purpose.

"I was trying to hit him," Hamels said, according to a report on MLB.com. "I'm not going to deny it. That's just ... something that I grew up watching, that's what happened, so I'm just trying to continue the old baseball. I think some people kind of get away from it."

And Harper seemed to be OK with that.

"He is a great guy, great pitcher, he knows how to pitch, he is an All-Star. It's all good," Harper was quoted as saying on MLB.com.

In the end, Hamels and the Phillies won 9-3.

Baltimore Orioles players celebrate after completing a 17-inning victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

And Sunday's third surprise came during the 17-inning marathon between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The winning pitcher in the six-hour, seven-minute marathon was Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who hadn't pitched in any competition in six years, when he was in junior college, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Davis took the mound in the 16th inning after the Orioles had used seven other relief pitchers in the game. He gave up two hits, struck out two and walked one in two innings, picking up the victory when Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the top of the 17th.

“I'm like, sweet,” Davis said, according to the Sun report. “I get to try something different today because hitting ain't working.” Davis was hitless in eight at-bats in the game. He struck out five times.

And if that's not strange enough, the losing pitcher, who gave up Jones' homer, was Darnell McDonald, a Red Sox outfielder forced to pitch when the Red Sox depleted their relief corps.

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. crabman

    sox are better than the way they have been playing alot of talent on that team

    May 7, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • leftovers

      Crabman-Talent on that team? In the outfield? On the left side of the infield? Behind the plate? In the pen? Where is the talent hiding. That team is in serious trouble.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Face the facts

      Let's see how they stack up at the end of the season. Valentine's a factor, you know. At this rate, he won't last long.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • NooYawkah

      Yeah, you know who else is better than they have been playing? The Yankees. And the Tigers. And the Angels. And the Phillies. But as a typical Red Sox fan I expect you to fully enjoy the team's latest "If Only" World Series Championship this October. As in "If only Gonzalez hadn't struck out with the bases loaded in that game on July 17th". Or "If only Pedroia didn't drop that popup from Jeter in the first game against the Yanks. That set the whole tone for the season." Please.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tobi

    "...struck out two and walked won in two innings"

    seriously? This from CNN reporters?

    May 7, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      "Harper advanced to third on a Jason Werth single before swiping home"

      Another for you...Jayson Werth.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • chad

      seriously, you care that much?

      May 7, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Don Hyde

      Seriously, "walked won"????

      May 7, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. pmmarion

    And I still say that whenever a pitcher hits a batter they should be thrown out of the game. Period. That will stop ALL of the nonsense of intentionally trying to bean a batter.

    May 7, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • vancouverron

      Harper has to learn to show some respect to his opponents. Someday he's going to take one on the coconut unless he learns to tone down his "enthusiam". Same for Lawrie in Toronto. There's enthusiasm for the game, and then there's just acting like a d1nk.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • jem4016

      Absolutely agree. Guys can get seriously messed up getting hit by a baseball. I saw a guys jaw get shattered by a wild pitch. I am glad Harper made him pay by turning it into a run.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • SwingBattaBatta

      Hitting and beaning are two different things. Hitting a batter is sending a message. Beaning is trying to injure. Totally different.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. clemalum07

    "Walked won" ah CNN continues to prove they are an absolute joke.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • AM

      THANK YOU. Its agrivating too reed they're horrible misuse of words. eye've never been two keen on people not using the write word in "professional" articals.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jason B.

    I'd say give Hamels a fat fine and sit him for a few games. It's one thing to lose control and bean someone, it's another thing to pitch in on someone that's crowding the plate...but to intentionally go after someone and admit to it? And pretty much say you're going to continue doing it?

    May 7, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sean Breslin

    Albert's struggles aren't completely over, but at least he finally hit a home run...they're paying him a lot to bring power to that lineup!

    May 7, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. TriXen

    "Well, Pujols' homer was his first as a player for the Los Angeles Angels and his first in 110 at bats, a career-long homer drought for the former St. Louis Cardinal who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels during the winter."

    And the Angels are thinking, "Geez, man... It's about freaking time!!!" lol

    May 7, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. chuckt

    Hamel's and the Phillies just started something. If I were Hamel's, I would not get anywhere close to the batters box the next time you play them. That is old school baseball, but it's also old school for revenge. People may not like that, but it's always been an unspoken law. That's baseball and don't confuse this with what's going on in the NFL. When a pitcher wants to really hit a batter, they always aim for the middle of the body. No way for them to escape.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lola

      If you watched the game, the Nationals' pitcher already got Cole back. It's all part of the game, like the catcher getting purposely rammed by a runner coming into home plate. As a Phillies fan, I must say I was very impressed with young Mr. Harper and I think he will go far.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. neutralfan

    @vancouverron
    How has he not shown respect while playing in the Majors? I think he is handling himself incredibly well after being thrown into the spotlight and deemed the second coming by the media. His love for the game is refreshing and his energy is responsible for drawing new fans to the game, which baseball has definitely needed. In any case, let's not forget that he is just 19 years old. If there is any "excessive" enthusiasm, the more experienced players on the team will most certainly provide guidance. Werth has already taken him under his wing. Plus...

    "He is a great guy, great pitcher, he knows how to pitch, he is an All-Star. It's all good," Harper was quoted as saying on MLB.com.

    I'd say that is showing respect. He also didn't act like he was going to charge the mound or yell at the pitcher as I have seen several "mature" players do.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. steve

    So, if it is OK for a pitcher to hit a batter with a ball why is it not ok for the batter to hit the pitcher with a bat? I think that any pitcher that intentionally hits a batter with a 90 mph baseball should be arrested for for at least assault.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      There's a big difference between taking a ball to the leg/back and getting hit with a bat. If players getting pegged makes you uneasy, may I suggest a more tame sport (don't know how it can get much more tame than baseball), such as curling.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. mbal

    vancouverron, What are you talking about? He's playing the game the way it's *supposed* to be played. Remember Pete Rose? You probably thought he was a d1nk, too. Harper isn't showing anyone up, he's hustling and playing hard. It's refreshing to see it. So many MLBers just lolligag around the field, don't run hard, and take forever between pitches in their at bats. To some degree, Hamels was right - we need more "old school" in MLB.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dowhatifeellike

      I dislike a lot about the kid, but not the way he plays the game. MLB needs a few more Bryce Harpers.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Christopher Guerra

    takes Juan to know won

    May 7, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. leah1026

    Orioles-Red Sox game. What was more amazing is it was the first time since 1925 that BOTH terms resorted to position players pitching in a game.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • NooYawkah

      You know what would be even more amazing, although even more unlikely? If the Astros somehow make to and win the World Series this year, then, next year when they're in the American League, win the Series again. That would be a mind blowing accomplishment, even if they were a great team.

      May 7, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Gunsmoke Jackson

    Kick a guy out for every hit batsman? Baseball polices itself, and that's part of what makes it great. You "ice cream for everyone, just after we pass out participation trophies" types are what hurt the game. Quit being a weenie. If Harper wants to flap his trap, he can. Many greats have. And he'll get paid back with a two-seamer in the hip from time to time, ala Nolan Ryan. It's all good. It's just like fighting in hockey (self policing)... which you pinkos also want to eliminate.

    May 7, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Face the facts

    The Philly's have been a dirty team for a long time (their fans are even worse).

    Payback's a mother, Hamels. Bryce shut your mouth pretty quick, eh? And YOU got a suspension.

    Way to go, kid. Keep up the good work.

    May 7, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
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