ANAHEIM, Calif. – It isn’t often that Albert Pujols takes a day off, but he was out of the starting lineup Wednesday night for only the third time this season.
Pujols called it a scheduled day off , but manager Mike Scioscia said the first baseman approached coach Alfredo Griffin about taking a one-game rest following Tuesday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
“Last night he was a little tired after the game,” Scioscia said. “We’re just trying to give his legs a re-charge day, and hopefully he’ll be ready to go tomorrow. That’s what we anticipate.”
Pujols, 32, is known to rarely takes days off and in fact sounded perturbed when he was asked about it before Wednesday night’s game.
“I can’t take a day off?” he responded when a reporter asked him if it had been scheduled.
Reminded that he had hit home runs in each of the past two games, he said, “That doesn’t matter. It was just a scheduled day off.”
Given the Angels’ recent offensive struggles, they could use Pujols’ bat. He is 4 for 8 against the Indians the past two games after going hitless in 12 at-bats the previous three games against the Seattle Mariners. He has a major-league-leading 12 home runs in the second half of the season with 31 RBIs, tied for third.
Monday night, Pujols hit his 25th home run of the season, becoming only the ninth player in major league history to hit 25 or more in 12 consecutive seasons. He joined Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez in that group.
“Obviously, Albert’s a big part of our lineup and a special player,” Scioscia said. “You have to feel that when they need a day off, you give it to them and you can still go out there and win a game.”