Pablo Sandoval exits game with more discomfort in elbow

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Pablo Sandoval was back in the Giants’ starting lineup last night for the first time since March 16, but he didn’t last long.

According to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News, Sandoval went 0-for-2 as the DH before he was pulled due to more soreness in his right elbow. He has been dealing with a bone spur and an irritated ulnar nerve in the very same elbow for the past two weeks, so the Giants didn’t want to push him any further.

“He said there was a little discomfort, so we shut him down,” Bochy said.

Sandoval has previously expressed confidence that he would be ready for Opening Day against the Dodgers on Monday, but he said after last night’s game that he’s now going to take things day by day. If Sandoval isn’t available for the early part of the season, the Giants are expected to go with Joaquin Arias at third base.

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).