September 16, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (24) fields a ground ball as he avoids second basemen Howie Kendrick (47) during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Angels Vs. Royals: Halos Win Rubber Game At Kaufman Stadium

The Angels picked up a much-needed series win in Kansas City. The bullpen proved to be much stonger than usual on Sunday.

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MLB Standings: Angels Directly Behind Athletics, Orioles In AL Wild Card Race

After losing three consecutive games to the Oakland Athletics earlier in the week, the Los Angeles Angels bounced back nicely, winning three of last four to put them 2.5 games in the wild card race.

The Angels (80-67), stole the last game against the Athletics (84-62) before taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals in Kauffman this past weekend. The A's also did the Angels an unintentional favor by defeating the Orioles (82-64) on both Friday and Saturday, as Baltimore is the leader for the second wild card spot.

The Tampa Bay Rays (78-68) and Detroit Tigers (77-68) are the only other realistic contenders who are on the outside looking in in the postseason race. And the Angels will get a chance to assist the Tigers in their tight AL Central race when the Chicago White Sox (79-66) roll into town this weekend for a three-game set.

Before that can happen though, Los Angeles will have to survive three games against the AL West leading Texas Rangers (87-59), a team they haven't played since Aug. 2.

For additional information on Angels baseball, head on over to Halos Heaven.

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Angels Vs. Royals Lineup: Albert Pujols Back At First Base For First Time Since Aug. 22

After having 16 consecutive starts out of the DH spot, Albert Pujols will return to his natural first base position Friday evening as the Los Angeles Angels take on the Kansas City Royals.

Manager Mike Scioscia hasn't used Pujols' glove in the field since Aug. 22 with the $240 million man nursing a calf injury. The struggling Mark Trumbo will take his place as the designated hitter with Vernon Wells sliding into left field.

The Angels are sending C.J. Wilson to the bump to take on the Royals' Bruce Chen. These two pitchers are trending in quite opposite directions with Wilson on three-game winning streak and Chen allowing seven homers in his last two starts.

Here's both of the complete lineups for tonight's game:

Angels

  1. Mike Trout - CF
  2. Erick Aybar - SS
  3. Albert Pujols - 1B
  4. Torii Hunter - RF
  5. Howie Kendrick - 2B
  6. Vernon Wells - LF
  7. Mark Trumbo - DH
  8. Alberto Callaspo - 3B
  9. Chris Iannetta - C
Royals
  1. Jason Bourgeois - CF
  2. Alcides Escobar - SS
  3. Alex Gordon - LF
  4. Billy Butler - DH
  5. Salvador Perez - C
  6. Mike Moustakas - 3B
  7. Jeff Francoeur - RF
  8. Eric Hosmer - 1B
  9. Johnny Giavotella - 2B
For more Angels coverage, head on over to Halos Heaven. To get a good feel on the opposition, pay a visit to the Royals Review.

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