Brandon Beachy’s comeback from a second Tommy John elbow surgery is nearly complete, with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly telling Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that “he’s feeling good and we’re feeling good about where he’s at.”
Beachy, who signed an incentive-laden deal with the Dodgers this offseason, has been rehabbing in the minors and could be cleared to join the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.
He hasn’t pitched in the majors since early 2013, but if healthy Beachy could make a big impact down the stretch. He had a 3.23 ERA in 268 innings for the Braves, striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings while holding opponents to a .220 batting average.
Mattingly indicated that the Dodgers may work him back into the mix slowly, which suggests long relief or mopping up could be his role initially. Los Angeles hold a team option on Beachy for 2016, so the Dodgers have reason to be somewhat cautious.
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).