Ben Zobrist on track to return from disabled list Monday

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Ben Zobrist reqired arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on April 28, but he’s set to rejoin the Athletics sooner than originally anticipated.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Zobrist is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Monday. The 33-year-old began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and is 4-for-9 with three RBI over his first three games. He’s slated to serve as the DH today and play nine innings at second base before rejoining the Athletics.

Acquired from the Rays over the winter, Zobrist was batting .240/.304/.400 with one home run and eight RBI over his first 14 games this season prior to having the surgery. The A’s have the worst record in the majors at 14-30 and appear likely to be sellers, so the impending free agent could be a trade chip as we move closer to July 31.

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).