ANAHEIM, Calif. – Albert Pujols’ right calf was still sore Tuesday afternoon, but he was well enough to return to the Angels’ lineup at designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium.
Pujols missed the previous four games, including a three-game series at Detroit, after suffering the injury running the bases against the Red Sox last week at Fenway Park.
He hoped to return last Saturday against the Tigers but still felt sore and was left off manager Mike Scioscia’s lineup card. Tuesday afternoon, he took part in some running exercises and reported enough improvement to play.
“Swinging the bat wasn’t as much of an issue over the weekend as it was after you hit the ball,” Scioscia said. “Albert’s a little more comfortable, as our medical staff is, that he can put a little governor on and not be at risk running the bases and hopefully nurse his way through this.”
Scioscia’s use of the word “governor” refers to a player consciously limiting his speed and exertion.
In any event, he was in his customary No. 3 spot in the lineup. Kendrys Morales, who is usually the team’s DH, started at first place for Pujols.
Scioscia offered no timetable for Pujols’ return to first base.