ANAHEIM -- Over the final week of the season, Albert Pujols will likely see more time as the designated hitter than at first base in an effort to preserve his health in case the Angels can sneak into the postseason.
Pujols had been alternating between first base and DH over the past week, but manager Mike Scioscia kept him out of the field for the second consecutive game on Thursday.
"As much as we can keep him off his legs, I think it's important right now," said Sciocsia, using Kendrys Morales at first base against Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.
Scioscia added that having Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo as possibilities at first base is a luxury.
"He is hanging in there," Scioscia said of Pujols, who suffered a right calf injury in August. "He's had some leg issues for the last month and I think there is some compensation that is involved when you try to play with one part that is injured. Your body is going to compensate in other ways. It can affect you."
Torii pumped for what could be his Big A finale
ANAHEIM -- Torii Hunter doesn't remember the exact wording of what his grandfather, George Cobbs, once told him. But he knows it was something along these lines: "We are reasonable men. We don't have emotions."
Practicing what his grandfather preached, Hunter entered Thursday's game like any other. The fact that it was the last home game of the regular season for the Angels -- possibly his last with the team -- didn't matter to him.
"It won't be emotion," he said. "It'll be adrenaline."
"I don't get caught up emotions. That is when you get weak and teary eyed. You make bad decisions when you're emotional."
After leaving the Minnesota Twins, Hunter has spent the last five years becoming a fan favorite at Angel Stadium, where he has batted .313 in his career. He becomes a free agent at the end of this season and he has expressed interest in returning.
"I love the fans and I really want to be here," Hunter said. "Everybody knows that."
Whether he gets that opportunity is still uncertain, but the outfielder is making the most of his time with the Angels.
He delivered the game-winning hit on Wednesday and was hitting .322 in September entering the finale. Judging by his play lately, he's not ready to hang up his Angels' uniform after this week. Whether that means another game at Angel Stadium or a grinding back-and-forth road trip across the country for a possible tiebreaker or Wild Card game, he doesn't care.
"As long we've got a chance to play, it doesn't matter if I'm traveling or whatever," he said. "That is why they have coffee.
"There would be some guys at home watching us fly to four different teams in four games in four days. I'd rather be the guy that is flying than the guy watching on the couch."
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.