Carlos Ruiz to begin minor league rehab assignment Tuesday

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Carlos Ruiz is eligible to return from his 25-game amphetamine suspension on Sunday, but he’ll go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment first.

The Phillies announced this evening that Ruiz will begin a rehab stint tomorrow with High-A Clearwater. The veteran backstop was hit in the left wrist with a pitch last Friday during an extended spring training game, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he was given a clean bill of health following a second set of X-rays.

Ruiz is coming off a career year in which he batted .324/.394/.540 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and a .935 OPS. The 34-year-old is due to become a free agent after the 2013 season.

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).