Rays name David Price as Opening Day starter

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Tampa Bay officially named David Price as the Opening Day starter, which is no surprise.

James Shields got the Opening Day nod for the Rays last season, but Price went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA on the way to his first Cy Young award and presumably would have gotten the call this year even if Shields hadn’t been traded to the Royals.

This will be the second Opening Day assignment for Price, who started Game 1 in 2011 and took the loss with seven innings of four-run ball against the Orioles.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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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).