Injured stars Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton returned to the Los Angeles Angels' lineup on Sept. 16. Pujols had a hamstring cramp on Monday while Hamilton sustained a shoulder injury which sidelined him for 11 games.
Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are back for the Los Angeles Angels.
Pujols had a hamstring cramp on Monday while Hamilton had a shoulder injury which sidelined him for 11 games. Both players were in the Angels' lineup on Sept. 16, per ESPN:
"Albert Pujols was in the Los Angeles' Angels lineup Tuesday one day after leaving a game early with a cramp in his left hamstring and so was Josh Hamilton, who is returning after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury.
"Pujols is playing first base and batting third while Hamilton is batting sixth as the designated hitter Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners.
"On Monday night, Pujols wrote off the cramp to dehydration on another hot day in Orange County, and had said he expected to play Tuesday.
"Hamilton is returning a day earlier than expected. On Monday, manager Mike Scioscia said he considered Hamilton's workout a 'breakthrough' and had expected him to return as the DH on Wednesday night.
"Pujols is hitting .274 with 26 homers and 97 RBIs while Hamilton is batting .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs for the AL West-leading Angels.
"The Angels became the first team in the majors to clinch a postseason berth on Monday night, with an 8-1 victory over the Mariners."
The Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna also reported on Pujols' and Hamilton's return:
"There were two somewhat surprising names in the Angels' lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Seattle Mariners, first baseman Albert Pujols in the third spot and designated hitter Josh Hamilton in the sixth spot.
"Pujols was pulled from Monday night's game in the third inning after suffering a left hamstring cramp as he rounded first base on a three-run double to left field, the key hit in an eventual 8-1 Angels victory that clinched a playoff spot and reduced their magic number to win the American League West to three.
"Manager Mike Scioscia said after the game that the Angels would 'exercise every precaution to make sure this is not something that will linger or set him back,' a strong indication that Pujols would get at least a day or two off to recover.
"But Pujols, who has started all but two of the team's 150 games, was feeling better by the time the game ended, and was convinced the cramp was caused by the excessive heat and not kind of any muscle fatigue or weakness.
"Hamilton sat out 11 games because of a right shoulder injury that was severe enough to warrant three cortisone injections since Sept. 4. He was encouraged enough after taking early batting practice Monday that he thought he could return by Wednesday night.
"But Hamilton, who is not expected to return to left field until next week, was apparently feeling so good Tuesday that his timetable was pushed up by a day.
"There was still no word as of mid-afternoon Tuesday on pitcher Matt Shoemaker, who was scheduled to undergo an MRI test after being pulled from Monday night's game because of a left rib-cage injury.
"Shoemaker gave up one run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking none, to improve to 16-4, with a 3.04 earned-run average, and his loss for an extended period would deal a severe blow to the team's World Series hopes."
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