In the seventh inning of the Wednesday 6-1 night's win over the Miami Marlins Angels first baseman Albert Pujols left with minor calf tightness (video here and below), according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. The win put the Angels one game up on the Oakland Athletics for the AL West Division lead. The two teams meet Thursday night to begin a four-game set. Manager Mike Scioscia expect Pujols to play.
Pujols grimaced noticeably when he swung before eventually taking a walk. He was repaced by pinch runner Efren Navarro, who stayed in the game at first base. Pujols has played 130 of the Angels' 132 games at first base or DH, and is hitting .276/.333/.469 (OPS+ 128) with 23 homers and 81 RBI. He has grounded into a league-leading 23 double plays.
One of the most well-known faces in major-league baseball, and on a certain Hall-of-Fame track, the 34-year-old nine-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year (2001) and three-time NL MVP had a career line of .328/.420/.617 in 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Since coming to the AL, his averages have declined, with 2013 being a bad year for him, as he was plagued with plantar fasciitis. Still, he has been above average all three years and in 2014 seems to have recovered his power.
Pujols was chosen by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. He was overlooked by most teams as he was considered slow and heavy. He made his debut April 2, 2001 at age 21, slugging .329/.403/.610 (OPS+159) with 37 homers and 137 RBI in his rookie year. The Cardinals did not meet his demand to be the hightest paid player in MLB after the 2011 season (when they won the World Series), so Pujols achieved that goal by signing for 10 years and $240 millions with the Angels (2012-2021).
@NatsLady (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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