04/16/12 12:30 AM ET
Scioscia continues to mix up lineup
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Pujols' power outage heads back to Anaheim
NEW YORK -- It's now a pretty good bet that Albert Pujols' first homer with the Angels will come at home.That's the good thing. The bad thing, of course, is that Pujols has now gone nine games without hitting his first home run of the season, which now represents the longest such stretch of his career. The previous high came in 2008, when Pujols went homerless in his first eight games. Asked prior to Sunday's game when he'd go deep for the first time, Pujols said in Spanish: "When God wants." "Maybe tonight, maybe a month from now," he added while addressing the Spanish media at Yankee Stadium. "... If the ball goes out, it goes out. If not, oh well. That's part of the game. I'm not going to go out there and try to hit the ball out. In practice you can try to hit the ball out and it's still hard. Imagine in the games. You can't think about home runs. You have to think about seeing the ball and trying to put a good swing on it. You can hit one, and then you have five or six that same week. Home runs come in bunches, so I don't worry about that. I've been in this situation before." Pujols went 1-for-5 on Sunday, connecting on an RBI single, lining out to shortstop, grounding out to third base and striking out twice. His batting average now sits at .243. The Angels begin a seven-game homestand against the Athletics and Orioles on Monday.
Angels dealing with rough travel schedule
NEW YORK -- West Coast teams tend to have the most strenuous schedules. What the Angels are facing now, though, takes that to a whole new level, with a night game in New York on Sunday and another night game all the way back in Anaheim on Monday.Under circumstances like these, Sunday's game would normally be played during the day. But the Angels -- with Albert Pujols at first and championship aspirations throughout -- now have a lot more national appeal, with 10 national TV games already booked, and being part of ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast required an 8:05 p.m. ET start time. So, manager Mike Scioscia sent Monday starter Jered Weaver and Tuesday starter Dan Haren home a day early to get some rest. "This is obviously tough," Scioscia said. "It's just what you deal with on West Coast travel. It is what it is. We'll be ready to play." The Angels also played six of their first eight games during the day. Not easy. But, as Scioscia added, "Nothing out of the ordinary. It's just the season."
Wells shrugs off 250th home run
NEW YORK -- Vernon Wells didn't know he hit the 250th home run of his career on Saturday until he walked into the dugout and a teammate told him.To him, the milestone meant little to nothing. "It is a round number," Wells said, before shrugging it off. "Individual stuff is meaningless at this point. It's just a matter of winning. Whatever comes during that process is great. But individual stuff loses its value after a while." With Wells' homer, the Angels joined the Yankees as the only team with four players on its active roster with at least 250 career homers. Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols and Bobby Abreu are the others on the Angels, with Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez making up the Yankees' quartet. Wells, batting .233 heading into the series finale, did keep the ball, which will be put in his display case along with roughly 75 others -- a mix of personal milestones and autographs of his favorite players. His favorite ball from that collection was autographed by Willie Mays, who signed it after Wells met him at Yankee Stadium a few years back. "That's been the ball that's actually lasted me the longest," Wells said.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.