ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Scioscia is giving struggling slugger Albert Pujols a break from defensive duties at first base today, plugging him into the designated hitter role.
Mark Trumbo starts at first base.
It will be Pujols' second start as the DH. He was hitless on Friday.
"It was a tough right night for him," Scioscia said after Friday’s game. “Every time like it seems like he’s inching closer and feeling more comfortable, he’s taking a half-step back. I know he’s working hard on some stuff. He’s frustrated We’re going to keep moving forward."
• John Hester makes his Angels debut behind the plate today.
It caps quite a month for the 28-year-old Hester. He began the season at Triple-A Norfolk as a member of the Baltimore organization and was released on April 20. Two days later, he signed with the Angels. He was batting .222 with a home run and five RBI in 27 at-bats for Triple-A Salt Lake City at the time of his promotion.
A roster spot became available when regular catcher Chris Iannetta underwent wrist surgery on Friday.
A strenuous night behind the plate for Bobby Wilson due in part to a two-hour rain delay on Friday influenced today’s start for Hester, Scioscia said.
Hester, who bats from the right side, broke in with the Diamondbacks in 2009 with a pinch-hit home run, becoming the 101st big leaguer to homer in his first career plate appearance. He was a 13th round draft selection by Arizona after attending Stanford from 2004-2006. He helped the Cardinal reach the College World Series and was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player.
• The Angels have been outscored 33-5 in their last six losses and failed to score in four. When scoring three runs or less, the Angels are 1-16, but they are 13-3 when scoring four or more.
"He’s locked in right now," Scioscia said.