Albert Pujols returns to Angels’ starting lineup

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Albert Pujols missed two days after leaving Wednesday’s game due to left hamstring tightness, but he’s back in the starting lineup today against the Giants.

While Pujols is back in his standard No. 3 spot, Mike Scioscia’s lineup has a slightly different look. Kole Calhoun moved into the cleanup spot while Pujols was out and will remain there today. He’s been the team’s primary leadoff hitter, but Erick Abyar will get his third straight start there today. Mike Trout remains in the No. 2 spot.

The Angels have tried multiple hitters out of the cleanup spot this season, including Matt Joyce and David Freese. However, Freese doesn’t hit righties and Joyce has struggled against pretty much everyone. Calhoun owns a .276/.334/.450 batting line in the majors and the hope is that he can function as a run-producer.

The Angels led the majors in runs scored last season, but they ranked 18th at the start of Saturday’s action.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.