Pujols gets break with consecutive DH days

Pujols gets break with consecutive DH days

Pujols gets break with consecutive DH days
ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols was the Angels' designated hitter for the second straight game on Sunday, but manager Mike Scioscia said it's not due to any physical ailment.

"No issue, just trying to recharge him a little bit," Scioscia said. "I think he was grinding it hard on the road trip, as a lot of guys were. It just gives us an opportunity right here to maybe get his legs a little refreshed."

Playing Pujols as a DH, where he's hitting .160 with two homers and four RBIs in 25 at-bats this season after his two-run shot in Sunday's game, is congruent to giving him a day off if he were in the National League, Scioscia said.

With the Cardinals last season, Pujols missed 14 games during the first half of the season because of a wrist injury. He was given the official "day off" just once before the All-Star break last year, but came into that game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

Since May 15 of this season, the 32-year-old is batting .323 and leads all AL first basemen in homers (13) and hits (60). He was batting .197 with one home run and 12 RBIs through the first 35 games of the season.

Pujols has surpassed his first-half RBI total from last season of 50 with 51 before the break this year.

"If you discounted the start, his numbers are very much in line with what you'd expect his numbers to project for a season," Scioscia said. "He's coming around. Maybe not enough time to get recognition or make the All-Star team, but he's turned it around in time to play at a much higher level."