Giants calling up Pat Burrell from Triple-A

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As rumored earlier this week, the Giants have called up Pat Burrell from Triple-A just days after signing him to a minor-league contract.
Burrell went 5-for-16 (.313) with one homer and one double in five games at Triple-A, which was apparently enough to convince the Giants that he can at least be a viable bench bat despite earning his release from the Rays by hitting .218 with a .311 on-base percentage and .361 slugging percentage in 146 games over the past two seasons.
He looks washed up to me, but then again going from the NL to the AL often has that effect on veterans. Obviously the Giants are hoping a return to the NL can rejuvenate Burrell, as he smacked 33 homers with an .875 OPS during his last NL stint with the Phillies in 2008.
John Bowker will be demoted to the minors to make room for Burrell on the roster after hitting just .207 with a .609 OPS in limited action, perhaps signaling the 26-year-old’s last chance to claim a long-term role in San Francisco. Bowker’s minor-league numbers have always been solid, but he’s done nothing in 513 plate appearances during various stints with the Giants.

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera leaves with forearm tightness

Associated Press
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The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.

Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball.  Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him  “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”

Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.

Albert Pujols sets the all-time record for home runs by a foreign-born player

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Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.

Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:

”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”

After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).