Albert Pujols draws big cheers in return to St. Louis, but Angels fall

Albert Pujols drew so many cheers in his return to St. Louis, he even apologized to Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha.

Pujols was showered with ovations in his long-awaited return to Busch Stadium, but Marcell Ozuna spoiled the homecoming with a home run that helped the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 on Friday night.

“They showed you why they are the best fans in baseball,” Pujols said.

Pujols spent the first 11 years of his All-Star career with the Cardinals, helped them win the 2011 World Series and then signed with the Angels as a free agent. Due to inconsistent interleague scheduling, this was the first time the Angels have visited St. Louis since Pujols left.

The slugger went 1-for-2 with a walk before being pulled for a pinch-runner.

Pujols received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 48,423 every time he stepped to the plate, including one in the first inning that lasted over a minute. He embraced Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina before batting, prompting the fans to get even louder.

“It’s pretty amazing. I’m just glad to be able to play here for 11 years and have the great memories. I was pretty close from having a couple of tears there I think, especially when I hugged Yadi and we had that little moment to ourselves.”

Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Walker Buehler struck out a career-high 16 in his first complete game and host Los Angeles rallied on Matt Beaty’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat visiting Colorado.

Mariners 10, Orioles 9: Former Giants outfielder Mac Williamson homered and Mallex Smith scored four times to lead host Seattle.

Nationals 4, Braves 3: Dallas Keuchel labored through five innings in his Atlanta debut, coughing up a 3-0 lead as the visiting Braves lost. Keuchel signed a one-year, $13 million contract on July 7 with the NL East-leading Braves. It was the first major-league appearance for Keuchel since he started Game 3 of last year’s AL Championship Series for the Houston Astros.

Reds 11, Brewers 7: Jose Iglesias had four hits and drove in two runs and Cincinnati withstood another homer from major-league leader Christian Yelich, beating host Milwaukee to win its sixth straight.

Pirates 2, Padres 1: Joe Musgrove pitched five-hit, one-run ball through seven innings, and host Pittsburgh capitalized on two errors by San Diego’s Manny Machado.

Yankees 4, Astros 1: Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres each homered for the third game in a row, providing a pair of two-run shots that sent host New York past Houston for its seventh straight victory. Aaron Judge was hitless in his return to the lineup — batting leadoff.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5: Christian Vázquez hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to cap host Boston’s comeback from four runs down.

Marlins 2, Phillies 1: Sandy Alcantara pitched 7 ⅔ sharp innings, Bryan Holaday hit a solo homer and Miami dealt host Philadelphia its fifth straight loss.

Mets 5, Cubs 4: Jeff McNeil homered and drove in three runs in his first career start in right field as visiting New York beat Chicago.

Indians 7, Tigers 6: Jason Kipnis hit a tiebreaking triple in the eighth inning, right fielder Tyler Naquin made a game-saving play in the ninth, and host Cleveland held on.

White Sox 5, Rangers 4: Eloy Jimenez scored on a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Yolmer Sanchez in the 10th inning and visiting Chicago beat Texas.

Twins 8, Royals 7: Max Kepler’s RBI single drove in the tiebreaking run and Eddie Rosario added a run-scoring hit to cap visiting Minnesota’s three-run rally in the eighth and the Twins beat Kansas City.

Briefly: Rangers third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera received a four-game suspension for throwing equipment on the field after he was ejected Thursday. He has appealed the penalty. … Among the players placed on the injured list were Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (sprained ankle) and Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro (concussion).

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