Vlad impervious to brushback pitches

Vlad impervious to brushback pitches

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Vladimir Guerrero missed his third consecutive game on Sunday after developing stiffness in his right knee trying to get out of the way of a high, hard one thrown by the A's Keith Foulke on Wednesday in Phoenix.

Guerrero launched a grand slam homer on the next pitch and came back to play the following day against the Giants, doubling home a run in Tempe, Ariz., before leaving after the third inning.

"When I got thrown at behind my head," Guerrero said through broadcaster Jose Mota's translation of the pitch by Foulke, "my knee didn't give."

Guerrero said he expected to play on Monday in Tempe against the Padres. Manager Mike Scioscia said Guerrero probably will play in right field.

Guerrero said he has grown accustomed to brushback pitches over the course of his illustrious career, having no choice in the matter.

"Since I got to the big leagues, that's been the whole story," he said. "When I got to Montreal, with my long arms, guys said I should expect it. It doesn't intimidate me. Sometimes when they come up and in it ignites me a little more."

Angels starter Ervin Santana said he was "100 percent" sure Guerrero would go deep against Foulke after the knockdown -- and that's what Vlad did.

"I've seen it many times," Santana said, grinning.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.