Albert Pujols makes spring debut as Angels fall to Padres

Albert Pujols makes his spring debut as a designated hitter in the Angels’ 4-2 loss to the Padres
Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols tosses his bat after earning a walk in the third inning of Friday’s spring training game against the San Diego Padres.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

The Angels fell to 9-4 in Cactus League play with a 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols, who had surgery on the plantar fascia on his right foot last December, made his spring debut at designated hitter, grounding out twice to the left side and walking once. “Albert just needs some timing,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He looked fine swinging.” Pujols, 37, probably won’t play any first base this spring. He hit .268 with 31 homers and 119 runs batted in last season. The Angels managed only five hits, including Carlos Perez’s run-scoring bloop single in the second. Cameron Maybin, who lined into a double play in the sixth, is hitless in 17 spring at-bats.

ON THE MOUND: JC Ramirez, who is being stretched out as an Angels starter this spring but could also play a prominent middle-relief role, gave up a three-run homer to Hector Sanchez in the first inning and a solo shot to Jabari Blash in the fourth. “In between the two home runs, he was sensational,” Scioscia said of the right-hander, who retired nine in a row. “He really spun the ball well and made some good pitches.” Left-hander Manny Banuelos allowed one hit, struck out three and walked four in 2 2/3 innings. Cody Ege, also vying for a left-handed relief spot, allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless inning.

EXTRA BASES: Second-base prospect David Fletcher made three nice defensive plays, ranging far to his left for a third-inning grounder and backhanding grounders up the middle in the fourth and fifth. … Shortstop Cliff Pennington was pulled after one inning because of right-shoulder tightness. … Yunel Escobar took an oath to become a U.S. citizen in Miami on Friday. The third baseman is expected back in camp Saturday. … First baseman Luis Valbuena (calf injury) has resumed defensive drills and could return to action in a few days.


UP NEXT: vs. Dodgers, noon (PST) Saturday at Camelback Ranch. TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 830.

Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna


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