ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia gave Albert Pujols what he termed "a half day off" on Sunday by slotting his slumping first baseman as the designated hitter for the first time this season.
Because of the off-day Monday before the Angels face Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, Scioscia said he wanted Pujols, who has yet to hit a home run this season, to have a couple days without much strenuous on-field action.
"Just give him a day to get him off his feet," Scioscia said. "We'll be off tomorrow and then get down to Tampa. I think it's something where we want him swinging the bat 162 games."
Entering Sunday's game against the Orioles, Pujols was hitting .262 this season with just four RBIs. He was held hitless in the Angels' first two games against Baltimore.
"You can't lose that focus for nine innings or lose that concentration whether you get base hits or not," Pujols said at Sunday morning's Fanfest outside Angel Stadium. "I take every at-bat and every inning that I play like it's the last game of my career."