• Albert Pujols #5 is congratulated by Justin Upton #10 and Max Stassi #33 of the Los Angeles Angels after hitting career home run No. 661 passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays and sole possession session of fifth place on baseballs all-time home run list in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Eli White #76 of the Texas Rangers looks on as the home run ball hit by Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels clears the right field fence in the fifth inning of the game. apujols hit career homer No. 661 passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays for fifth place on baseballs all-time home run list at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated in the dugout after hitting career home run No. 661 passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays and sole possession session of fifth place on baseballs all-time home run list in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits his 661st career homer, passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays for sole possession of fifth place on baseball’s all-time home run list at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated in the dugout after hitting career home run No. 661 passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays and sole possession session of fifth place on baseballs all-time home run list in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels crosses the plate after hitting his 661st career home run, passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays for fifth place on baseball’s all-time home run list in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels crosses the plate after hitting career home run No. 661 passing Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays and sole possession session of fifth place on baseballs all-time home run list in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers shortstop Anderson Tejeda, left, catches the throw to second base to force out Los Angeles Angels’ Taylor Ward on a grounder by Andrelton Simmons, who reached first during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated by third base coach Brian Butterfield #55 after advancing to third on a broken double play in the second inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Anderson Tejeda #71 of the Texas Rangers holds on to the ball as Taylor Ward #3 of the Los Angeles Angels is out at second, breaking up a double play in the second inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels singles in the third inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Jaime Barria #51 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

ANAHEIM — Jaime Barria, Taylor Ward and Jared Walsh all continue to make statements that they want to be a part of the Angels future.

Barria pitched into the seventh inning and Ward and Walsh each drove in runs in the Angels’ 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

With the victory, the Angels (22-30) pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Houston Astros for a playoff spot, with eight games to go.

While the Angels’ youngsters gave a look at the future, Albert Pujols added another chapter to his historic career, blasting his 661st and 662nd homers to move past Willie Mays and alone into fifth on the all-time list.

Pujols, 40, needs another 34 homers to equal Alex Rodriguez, so it is likely Pujols has climbed his final rung on the sport’s most hallowed leaderboard.

As Pujols’ career winds down, the Angels are still searching for the young players who will help the team ascend once again, and three of them in particular have shown promise lately.

Barria made his fourth start of the season, to go with two lengthy mop-up relief appearances, and he’s now posted a 3.26 ERA. He did not allow a run until the seventh on Friday, and he finished allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out eight, equaling his career high, and did not walk a batter.

Barria, 24, seems to be recapturing some of what made him such a revelation in 2018, when he had a 3.41 ERA, before a disappointing 6.42 mark last year.

Desperate for starting pitching, the Angels obviously would love if he could at least provide dependable innings at the back of the rotation, joined by Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning.

Walsh and Ward have also done well at the plate lately, in small sample sizes, as they try to carve out roles for the future.

Walsh, 27, singled and walked and drove in a run. He did not score, ending his nine-game streak of at least one run and one RBI, a streak exceeded by four players in history.

Walsh has a 10-game hitting streak in which he’s hit 19 for 41 (.463).

Ward, 26, had two more hits also, including an RBI single to drive in the first run of the game. Ward has gone 14 for 26 (.538) in his last nine games, which he says is the result of a better mental approach.

The negative on the night for the Angels was Justin Upton leaving the game after he was hit in the head by a pitch in the seventh. Upton was face down on in the dirt for a few minutes, but he got up and walked off the field.

Maddon said that the initial reports were that Upton is fine.

“He started to be able to feel everything properly,” Maddon said. “He was well. Of course he was shaken up. Everything seems to be in order but there will be more tests done obviously. We may have gotten lucky there.”

More to come on this story.

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