Pujols returns to Angels lineup

BY foxsports • September 19, 2012

The Texas Rangers are minus middle-of-the-order sluggers Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre for Wednesday night’s game against the Angels; Hamilton suffering from vision problems and Beltre from intestinal issues that prevented him from coming to the stadium.

But the Angels got their No. 3 hitter back. Albert Pujols is in the lineup after missing Tuesday night’s 11-3 win over the Rangers to remain in Missouri with his wife, Deidre, who gave birth to the couple’s fifth child, a daughter named Esther Grace, Sunday morning in Kansas City.

Because the baby was born almost three weeks before her due date, doctors wanted Deidre and the child to remain in the hospital an extra day of tests and observation, Pujols said.

Both mother and daughter were discharged Tuesday afternoon. Pujols, who played Sunday’s afternoon game in Kansas City on no sleep, drove them back to their St. Louis home Tuesday night and caught a flight to Orange County Wednesday morning.

“She was due Oct. 3, but she popped out early,” Pujols said. “I guess whenever they want to come out, they come out. Right after Saturday’s game, she wasn’t feeling too good, so we went to hospital, and the baby was born at 3:30 a.m. It’s a blessing. The baby is healthy, beautiful. We’re real excited.”

Though it was difficult for Pujols to miss Tuesday night’s game — he watched the first seven innings on television before falling asleep — he was relieved that the baby was born now instead of on Oct. 3, the day of the Angels’ final regular-season game, or later.

“It’s kind of good that it happened now,” Pujols said. “It probably would have been more stressful if we were in the middle of the playoffs and I had to miss a playoff game. Right now, I just missed one game. I’m glad everything went well. My wife is good, and I can focus on the games now.”

-Mike DiGiovanna