Everyone's out to get Albert Pujols

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St. Louis Cardinals fans must be nervous. It seems like the baseball gods are trying to hurt Albert Pujols.

On Monday night, Pujols appeared to tweak his ankle while hustling into second base, getting his spikes caught in the dirt just before beginning his slide.

Turns out he was fine — even shrugging it off, saying he’d be in the
lineup Tuesday — but it was scary enough for the trainers to come out
to check him out.

If that wasn’t enough, turns out even some media members are after him. Do I smell a conspiracy?

Jack Curry of the New York Times wrote on Monday of an encounter last week with Pujols in which …

Our ankles got tangled for a moment and both of us nearly tripped.

“You all right?,” Pujols said. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

It’s not like Pujols needs more All-Star votes so we’ll assume his concern for Curry was genuine.

To his credit, Curry found the question hilarious, and responded
correctly, saying “We’d be in a lot worse shape if anything happened to
you.”

So true. Had Pujols taken out Curry with their accidental game of Twister, it’s just another reporter down and out. (Click here for a great list)

But can you imagine the furor if a reporter had put the planet’s
best hitter on the disabled list? That would be a true test of the
power of the press.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.