Albert Pujols, seen in April, will not be at Tuesday's Angels game. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Angels slugger Albert Pujols is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game in Anaheim against the Texas Rangers because he remained in the Midwest to be with his wife, Deidre, who delivered the couple’s fifth child in a Kansas City-area hospital early Sunday morning.
Pujols, who is hitting .282 with 30 home runs and a team-leading 96 runs batted in, played in Sunday’s game against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium despite being up all night with Deidre, who delivered a daughter, Esther Grace, at 3:30 a.m. The first baseman doubled once in four at-bats in the Angels’ 4-3 win.
Pujols did not accompany the team on Sunday night’s charter flight back to Southern California, and the Angels were off on Monday. [Updated at 5:18 p.m.: Deidre and Esther Grace were still at the hospital as of Tuesday afternoon.]
Pujols’ loss leaves a significant hole in the middle of the lineup as the Angels, who are fighting for a playoff spot, open a big series against the American League West-leading Rangers in Anaheim.
[Also updated: "We've gone through stretches of the season when he's played hurt or hasn't been available," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "For a family matter like this, there's no doubt he's where he needs to be.]
"I think our lineup is deep, and hopefully on the offensive side we'll absorb it and do what we need to do."
The Angels are 7 1/2 games behind Texas in the division and three games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the AL's second wild-card spot with 15 games remaining. Pujols is expected to return in time for Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers.
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