Pujols day to day after MRI shows no major damage
BOSTON — An MRI test on Albert Pujols' right calf and knee showed no structural damage, and the Angels first baseman, who was pulled from Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox in the fourth inning, is listed as day to day.
Pujols is not in the lineup for Thursday night’s series finale at Fenway Park. He was diagnosed with right calf inflammation, but there was some concern that he jammed his knee a bit on a fourth-inning slide into second base on a double.
Pujols, who ranks second on the team with 28 home runs and leads the team with 86 runs batted in, pulled up on his way to third on Kendrys Morales’ groundout and hobbled into home on Mark Trumbo’s single to center field.
“I feel way better today,” said Pujols, who had missed only three games before Thursday. “I’m walking better, and I have some strength. Hopefully, it’s nothing too bad. I hope it’s just day to day.”
A loss of Pujols for an extended period would be a huge blow to the Angels’ playoff hopes — the first baseman has homered in four of his last eight games, and 18 of his last 26 hits have been for extra bases.
“Hopefully this is something manageable,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “If that was Game 7 of the World Series, he would have stayed in the game.”
Regular left fielder Trumbo will return to first base Thursday night, and Vernon Wells will start in left field.
Though reserve outfielder Peter Bourjos was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, leaving the Angels with four regular outfielders — Torii Hunter, Mike Trout, Trumbo and Wells — and a 13-man pitching staff, Scioscia said he will hold off on recalling reserve outfielder Kole Calhoun from Salt Lake.
Second baseman Howie Kendrick can play left field, “and considering where our pitching staff is, I think the extra arm helps,” Scioscia said.