A masterful start by Dan Haren and a much-needed victory over the Indians on Saturday couldn't obscure what has become a major concern for the Angels: Albert Pujols is in a deep funk, one he's shown few signs of breaking out of, and that's putting a serious drag on the offense.

Not only has Pujols not homered in 84 at-bats this season, he hasn't driven in a run in 12 games and is batting .226 with four RBIs. He's been so passive at the plate, taking fastball after fastball for first-pitch strikes, that he seems to have an 0-and-1 count when he's standing in the on-deck circle.

In an effort to get a feel for new pitchers in a new league, the former St. Louis Cardinals star has been taking pitches early in at-bats, but opponents are going right at him, getting ahead with 0-2 and 1-2 counts and putting Pujols on the defensive.

The result: Pujols, in more of a protect than attack mode, has swung at too many pitches out of the strike zone, producing weak contact and more strikeouts. Pujols did single during a scoring rally in the first inning Saturday, but in his third at-bat, he struck out on three pitches, the third a Jeanmar Gomez fastball he watched go right down the middle.

"There's been a little cat-and-mouse game as he's trying to figure out what pitchers are doing," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's no doubt that at times he's been a little bit passive in trying to figure things out and gotten into some poor hitting counts. And at times he's expanded his zone and gotten into some poor counts by being too aggressive. He'll figure it out."