SEATTLE (AP) -Vladimir Guerrero was not in the lineup for the Los Angeles Angels' series opener against Seattle on Tuesday night.
But the All-Star slugger said that wasn't because he would have been facing Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who was starting for the first time since straining his forearm on April 18.
And Guerrero said it wasn't because his achy knee or back was paining him.
``Day off. It's OK. I need it,'' he said as he began to stretch with his teammates behind the batting cage before the game.
Guerrero was the designated hitter Monday for the sixth time this season. He went 0-for-4 and scored a run in the finale of a four-game series at Texas, before Shea Hillenbrand pinch hit for him in the ninth inning of a 7-2 win.
Guerrero entered Tuesday batting .341 with a team-leading nine home runs and 33 RBIs. He had played in every one of the Angels' 24 games since April 20, after a pitch from Boston's Josh Beckett bruised his right wrist on April 16 and caused him to miss two games.
``He's not playing?'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia joked, feigning ignorance that Tommy Murphy, recalled from Triple-A on May 4, was starting in right field instead of Guerrero. Hillenbrand was the designated hitter Tuesday.
``Just a day to recharge the body, get a little rest,'' Scioscia said, as a smiling Guerrero jogged by the dugout on his way to joking around with a stretching teammate.
Scioscia said Guerrero, who became the first Angel with 200 hits in two different seasons while playing 156 games last season, didn't explicitly ask for the day off. But ``he said it might be a good day for it,'' Scioscia said.
The manager added that he didn't want to wait until Los Angeles' next day off on Monday to give the Angels' most important hitter a break. As for whether it was the matchup with the Hernandez, who was dominant last month before his injury, that helped decide Guerrero's rest, Scioscia said, ``No. Absolutely not.''
Guerrero entered Tuesday 4-for-14 (.286) with one RBI and one strikeout against Hernandez.
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