5/17/21 LOS ANGELES, CA - The Los Angeles Dodgers (23-18) and newly acquired first baseman Albert Pujols had a big hit in his debut to help beat the (18-24) Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 in the first game of the four-game series at Dodgers Stadium.
The Dodgers Walker Buehler (RHP,2-0), was excited to have Pujols as a teammate. Early in the game, Buehler had no control of his fastball, but after the Dodgers' pitching coach Mark Prior went to the mound and spoke to him, later settled down and threw seven scoreless innings and gave up only one hit while striking out seven batters.
"Him being in Anaheim for so long, I don't know if any of us could have imagined he'd be wearing our uniform," Buehler said. "But a big hit for us tonight, and we're excited to have him in the
Every time Albert Pujols stepped up to the plate, the fans welcomed him with loud cheers. The newly acquired three-time National League MVP got the start at first base and batted cleanup for the Dodgers.
"It was pretty awesome," Pujols said. "High-pumped energy by the fans. I was really excited to take that field and to contribute tonight."
Will Smith got the Dodgers on the board first with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning that made the score 1-0.
Pujols, the 10-time All-Star hit a 0-2 pitch up the middle to score Mookie Betts in the bottom of the third inning making the score 2-0.
"It felt great, especially your first night wearing this uniform," Pujols said. "In a key situation like that, with a guy in Bumgarner that has a pretty good slider and is pitching pretty well, I was able to get a good barrel and put it through the infield. So yeah, it felt awesome."
Victor Gonzalez replaced Buehler in the top of the eighth inning and gave up an RBI single to Eduardo Escobar, which allowed Pavin Smith to come home, making the score 2-1.
Still, in the same inning, Gonzales had runners in scoring position for the Diamondbacks, but Kenley Jansen replaced Gonzales to end the scoring threat.
Gavin Lux singled to right field, scoring Smith to extend the Dodgers lead 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lux is hitting .314 during May.
Jansen held the Diamondbacks scoreless in the top of the ninth inning to secure the Dodgers 3-1 victory and pick up his eighth save of the season.
Madison Bumgarner (4-3) lasted four innings for the Diamondbacks. He allowed two earned runs and walked four but only gave up two hits in 80 pitches.
Pujols will start for the Dodgers on Tuesday, with left-handed pitcher Julio Urias (5-1). For more photos from this game, click on the link below. #mlb #ladodgers #dbacks #albertpujols #losangelesdodgers #arizonadiamondbacks #majorleaguebaseball #tgsportstv1.