DETROIT -- Albert Pujols' left foot has taken a beating over the last few days, so on Thursday, during the quick-turnaround series finale against the Tigers, the Angels' first baseman made his eighth start of the season at designated hitter.
Pujols fouled a ball hard off the foot, then stepped awkwardly on first base during a ground-rule double during the weekend series against the Yankees. In Wednesday night's fourth inning, he pulled up lame trying to advance to second base and favored the left foot once again.
Neither of those instances caused Pujols to leave the game, but the Angels will be cautious.
"It's something that kind of goes up into his leg," said manager Mike Scioscia, who doesn't believe it's related to the plantar fasciitis Pujols has dealt with in the past. "I think it's something he's had before and he's dealt with. The luxury we have is the ability to keep his bat in the lineup at DH, which he didn't have the last couple years [in St. Louis]."
Despite going 0-for-3 in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Tigers, Pujols has been on a bit of a tear recently -- one that could allow him to finish the season with a semblance of the numbers he's accustomed to. Over his last 27 games, the 32-year-old is batting .330 with eight homers -- including four in his last eight contests -- to put him at a .276 clip with 17 homers and 57 RBIs on the year.
"He goes through very, very few long dry spells," Scioscia said. "We saw one of them. And it might impact his final numbers to some extent, but when it's all said and done, I think you're going to see production comparable to what you would expect from a guy of his talent."