VIDEO: Albert Pujols’ 497th career home run

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Angels first baseman Albert Pujols continues to close in on the 500-homer club. He launched his 497th career blast last night in a 11-6 win over the Tigers. Check it out below:

Pujols is now just three away from becoming the 26th player ever to reach 500 home runs. While the 34-year-old was a little slow to get it going this season, he has five home runs in his last nine games and owns a solid .279/.347/.547 batting line through 16 games. He had the worst season of his career last season while dealing with a plantar fascia injury, but fortunately for the Angels, it appears that he’s back to full health. Or something pretty close to it.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.