Yordano Ventura to make rehab start on Friday

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From beat writer Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star comes word that injured Royals starter Yordano Ventura is scheduled to make a minor league rehab appearance Friday at Triple-A Omaha.

The young right-hander will throw around 75 pitches and should then be allowed to return to the Royals’ starting rotation late next week against the Astros.

Ventura has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 13 with ulnar neuritis in his pitching hand.

The hard-throwing 24-year-old owns a somewhat disappointing 4.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 54/21 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings this season for the AL Central-leading Royals.

He posted a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings last season and became a household name in October.

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).