Booed and benched in the previous two games, first baseman Albert Pujols finally broke
out with his first home run as an Angel on Sunday.
Pujols was booed as he went hitless in Friday's shutout by the Blue Jays. Angels fans
were frustrated with the sub-.200, 0-homer start by their $246 million man. After the
game, Pujols said he deserved it but promised there would be more cheers in the future.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't give Pujols a chance to hear cheers or boos
Saturday. He benched the slumping slugger for the first time this season, even telling
Pujols not to take batting practice.
"We want to give him a little breather, a day to refresh, get him off the treadmill and
get him back in there (Sunday)," Scioscia said.
Pujols was so anxious to get back in the lineup Sunday that he showed up at 7:30 a.m.,
five hours before game time. After flying out and striking out in his first two at-bats,
his career-long homer-less streak had stretched to 110 at-bats.
Finally, Pujols went deep against Blue Jays righty Drew Hutchison in the fifth inning.
His two-run home run proved the difference in the Angels' 4-3 victory. His Angels
teammates evacuated the dugout, hiding in the tunnel to tease Pujols when he came back
after the home run.
"I don't think anything's been lifted off my shoulders, man," Pujols said after the
game. "I don't think about what you guys write or what you think. I know what I'm capable
of doing, and I come out here every day and try to get myself ready for the game and give
110 percent to this team and to this organization. And if I do that, there's nothing to be
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