Struggling Angels first baseman Justin Bour, who was signed to a one-year, $2.5-million contract in the offseason in part to back up aging Albert Pujols, was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake moments after he struck out with a runner on first in the the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Manager Brad Ausmus had called on him to pinch-hit for David Fletcher, gambling that Bour might hit a go-ahead home run.

Prospect Jared Walsh, who was not in the lineup at Salt Lake on Tuesday after playing in the Bees’ first 37 games, will take Bour’s place on the 25-man roster, according to a source not permitted to publicly comment. Walsh is not on the 40-man roster, but two spots opened last week when the Angels designated right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton and outfielder Peter Bourjos for assignment.