MRI shows no structural damage in Scott Kazmir’s shoulder

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Good news here for the Athletics, as Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports that an MRI on Scott Kazmir’s left shoulder showed no structural damage.

Kazmir left his start yesterday against the Tigers after three innings with shoulder tightness. Athletics manager Bob Melvin said he’ll likely have his next start skipped, but the plan calls for him to meet with team doctors before a decision is made about a possible stint on the disabled list. Still, it sounds like things could have been much worse.

Kazmir, 31, has posted a 2.93 ERA and 57/25 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 innings through 10 starts this season. He could be a useful trade chip for Oakland if he can get back to full health and remain effective.

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).