Pujols's home run accounted for the only two runs in a pitcher's duel Monday in Arlington. The home run ball continues to be the main way Pujols is contributing for the Angels, as his batting line is mediocre at .228/.307/.409. Still, he's making it count, as he's on pace for 108 RBI and 76 runs scored. His batting average, however, is a huge drag despite his solid contact rate (11.2 strikeout percentage), and considering his .213 BABIP is right in line with the .217 mark he mustered last year, it's hard to project much improvement from Pujols in that department as the season goes on.
Garcia got the afternoon off while Jimmy Rollins served at the team's designated hitter, but things will go back to normal Monday night with Garcia getting the nod.
This marks the third game in a row that Garcia hasn't cracked the starting lineup, as well as the fourth time in the past five games. The White Sox have elected to employ more of a rotating designated hitter position as of late, which may to blame for the recent string of bench-sitting, although the 24-year-old's .248 batting average and career-high 24.6 percent strikeout rate certainly don't help his case. Brett Lawrie will get a crack at being Chicago's DH for game one, although there's a decent chance that Garcia could get a start in game two if the White Sox decide to rest some of their starters for the nightcap.
He'd gone nearly a month without putting a ball in the bleachers, but otherwise Martinez has enjoyed a solid May, slashing .329/.375/.397 in 73 at-bats. He remains a key part of a Tigers' offense that has begun firing on all cylinders lately.
Gattis' fourth bomb of the year came in the sixth inning when the game was already out of reach for the Astros. He's now homered in three of his last six games to raise his slugging percentage to a season-high .430.
Ortiz gave the Red Sox a lead they'd never relinquish with an RBI double in the second inning, and he later blasted his 11th homer to give the team an insurance run. The slugger has collected three multi-hit games in his last five contests, and he's now slashing .329/.408/.684.
Alvarez will rest for the second time in three games, allowing Ryan Flaherty to get his second consecutive start at the hot corner. He would normally start against a right-hander, but after an 0-for-4 showing Saturday, manager Buck Showalter elected to give him the day off for what appears to be regular maintenance. It's fair to question if this is performance-related, however, as Alvarez has just six base hits in the month of May, bringing his average below the Mendoza Line to .191 on the year.
Manager Ned Yost said the decision to keep Morales out of the lineup is strictly to give him a chance to catch his breath. Morales has gone 1-for-8 so far in the series against the White Sox. Salvador Perez will shift over to DH on Sunday as the Royals take on left-hander Carlos Rodon.
Dickerson will rest in favor of Brandon Guyer in left field, while Logan Morrison is called to man the DH spot as part of a Sunday lineup shuffle. After serving as the DH Friday and Saturday, Dickerson will get a regular day off with Jordan Zimmermann on the hill for the opposing Tigers.
After leading off Friday, Santana was in the five-hole Saturday, and prevented a shutout loss by homering with two out in the ninth. The 30-year-old has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, and has tallied five of his eight homers on the season during May.