Curtis Granderson to begin rehab assignment Thursday

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Via Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune:

He’s getting closer to a return to the big leagues.

Thursday night, Curtis Granderson will show area fans how close.

The Yankees’ All-Star center fielder will open a major league rehab assignment with the RailRiders Thursday against Indianapolis, a source within the organization confirmed to The Times-Tribune.

Granderson is expected to spend three or four days with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before returning to the Yankees’ active roster. He has been on the shelf since fracturing his right forearm during a late-February Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays.

If all goes well over the weekend in Triple-A, Granderson should join the Yankees’ starting lineup next Monday or Tuesday. The 32-year-old outfielder had 43 home runs, 10 steals and 106 RBI in 160 games last season.

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).