Jed Lowrie, Astros avoid arbitration with one-year contract

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Jed Lowrie and the Astros agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, avoiding a hearing in the infielder’s first season of arbitration eligibility.

Lowrie, who was acquired from the Red Sox for Mark Melancon in December, filed for $1.5 million while the Astros countered at $900,000.

They settled $150,000 below the midpoint, but Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the deal includes some incentives that could add to his $1.15 million salary.

Lowrie is expected to replace Clint Barmes as the Astros’ everyday shortstop, but his health and defense there are both question marks.

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).