Johan Santana skips winter ball for ‘medically-prescribed rest’

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Johan Santana and the Mets have decided against the rehabbing left-hander pitching in winter ball, with Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reporting that he’ll instead be “entering a long period of medically-prescribed rest that will preclude him from pitching.”

He last pitched in an instructional league game on September 30, but general manager Sandy Alderson described Santana as “feeling very good” and “looking forward to 2012.” And according to the GM the Mets are “optimistic” he’ll be at full speed in time for spring training.

Several setbacks ruined Santana’s plans of returning for some September action this season, but he’s now 13 months removed from shoulder surgery and owed $55 million for the next two seasons. He last pitched for the Mets on September 2, 2010.

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).