Ian Kinsler cleared to resume baseball activities

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Ian Kinsler was cleared to resume baseball activities Tuesday after an MRI showed significant improvement with his strained left groin, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

Kinsler took batting practice and ran sprints in the outfield Tuesday. He’s expecting to ramp up his workouts as the week continues, but a rehab assignment is not imminent.

“I need to take my time to get into shape,” Kinsler said. “I don’t want
to pull a hamstring because I’m not in shape. I want to make sure my
body is ready to go.”

Kinsler told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he doesn’t anticipate returning from the disabled list until before or on September 1, so we’re probably still looking at about another week before he is back. Kinsler has been sidelined since July 27 due to the injury.  

One benefit of having an 8 1/2 game lead in the American League West? He can take all the time he needs.

On a related note, the Rangers purchased the contract of Alex Cora from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and designated Joaquin Arias for assignment.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).