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Sunday, May 6, 2012
Pujols returns, etc.

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- A day after Angels manager Mike Scioscia gave Albert Pujols a day off to help the struggling slugger get his thoughts in order, Pujols was back in the lineup batting third Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"He needs to see a lot of pitchers he hasn't seen," Scioscia said. "If we're shutting him down multiple games, I don't know if that's as much the mental thing as just physically recharging. This isn't anything more than to kind of break the banging-your-head-against the wall and to step back a little bit."

Scioscia said earlier this season he was hoping Pujols would be in the lineup all 162 games, but after Pujols batted .194 with no home runs and five RBIs in his first 27 games, Scioscia changed that plan.

* Scioscia said Peter Bourjos will get some playing time against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, where his defense will be useful at one of the more expansive outfields in the major leagues. Bourjos has been shuffled to the bench since the arrival of Mike Trout. Bourjos has started one game since Trout arrived April 28.

"He's got to play to contribute," Scioscia said.

* The Angels have an open date Thursday, but Scioscia said he will keep his rotation intact, meaning C.J. Wilson will face Yu Darvish Friday in Texas. The Rangers spent more than $110 million to sign Darvish shortly after Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal to pitch for the Angels.

Here are lineups for Sunday:

Kelly Johnson 2B
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind DH
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
J.P. Arencibia C
Omar Vizquel SS

Trout CF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Albert Pujols 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mark Trumbo RF
Vernon Wells LF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Erick Aybar SS
Chris Iannetta C