(AP) — The two biggest free-agent signings prior to the 2012 season are gradually turning things around after slow starts.

Their teams, however, are still looking up in their respective division races.

In their first meeting since signing massive contracts, Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels open a four-game series Monday night against Prince Fielder’s Detroit Tigers.

Pujols and Fielder spent the past half-dozen years regularly squaring off as NL Central rivals and last October, Pujols’ St. Louis Cardinals defeated Fielder’s Milwaukee Brewers in the league championship series en route to a World Series title. The elite first basemen both bolted for the AL in January, as Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels (49-40) and Fielder inked a nine-year, $219 million deal to play for the Tigers (46-43).

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