Ryan Braun scratched from lineup with neck spasms

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According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Diamondbacks due to neck spasms.

Braun began feeling the discomfort in his neck during batting practice. It’s not clear if he’ll be available to pinch hit. Khris Davis will start in his place in left field and make his major league debut.

Braun is coming off a fine opening series against the Rockies where he went 4-for-10 with one home run, one double, four RBI and three walks.

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).