The Red Sox will retire Pedro Martinez’s number next month

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Among players who wore number 45 for the Boston Red Sox: Scott Cooper, Ken Brett and the immortal Dick Pole. But it was most memorably Pedro Martinez’s number, and the Red Sox announced today that whey will retire it in his honor next month.

The ceremony will be July 28, before Boston’s game against the Chicago White Sox. This will be two days after Martinez is inducted to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, so he’ll be in the general neighborhood.

Martinez wore number 45 for the Red Sox from 1998 through 2004. Not a ton of years in Boston, but they were among the best years any starting pitcher has ever had. In that time Martinez went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and 1,683 strikeouts against 309 walks in 1,383.2 innings. And remember, that was the height of the biggest offensive era the game has ever seen, giving him an ERA+ of 190, which is mind-boggling.

 

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).