Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova took a big step in his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery Monday, making his first minor-league rehab start.
Nova threw 4.2 innings at Single-A, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three and walking zero. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that scouts in attendance were impressed with Nova, who topped out at 95 miles per hour about 13 months removed from surgery.
Nova made just four starts last season before being shut down, but the Yankees retained him via arbitration for $3.3 million this year hoping he can rejoin the rotation for the second half. He has a 4.20 ERA in 538 career innings through age 27.
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).