Albert Pujols saw his first action on defense for the Angels in spring training… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
PHOENIX — Angels left-hander Jason Vargas was tagged for five runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in 5 1/3 innings of Tuesday’s 6-1 exhibition loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale Park.
First baseman Albert Pujols, who has been eased into action this spring after undergoing right-knee surgery last October, played five innings on defense, the first time he has played the field this spring.
Though he didn’t field any line drives or ground balls — the extent of his work in the field was to catch two throws from infielders on grounders — Pujols declared himself fit for the team’s April 1 season opener at Cincinnati.
“It felt great,” Pujols said. “I could play nine innings at first base right now.”
However, after the game, Manager Mike Scioscia revealed Pujols has been dealing with a little plantar fasciitis in his left foot, an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that can be quite bothersome — especially for larger athletes — and linger for weeks or even months.
Scioscia acknowledged Pujols’ “foot is giving him more trouble right now than the knee,” but the manager did not seem too concerned about the foot condition.
“The fact that his knee is OK gives us more comfort than anything else,” Scioscia said. “He looked fine at first base. He’s moving to the bag well. He’s a terrific first baseman, and he’s not that far from where he needs to be.”
Vargas gave up a two-run home run to Rickie Weeks and a solo shot to Aramis Ramirez in the fifth. Weeks also doubled and scored on Ramirez’s two-run single in the third inning. Mike Trout drove in the Angels’ only run with a fifth-inning grounder.
Luis Jimenez still in the hunt for Angels roster spot
Looking forward to nine more years of Albert Pujols
Hank Conger's throwing woes prompt Angels to go shopping