Red Sox place Clay Buchholz on disabled list with flexor strain

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After making an early exit from Friday’s start against the Yankees due to elbow stiffness, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz was placed on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon.

The good news is that Buchholz doesn’t have any ligament damage, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that he was diagnosed with a flexor strain. He’ll be shut down from throwing for a week before being re-evaluated, but there’s no clear timetable for his return.

Buchholz has been Boston’s best starter for a large chunk of the season, posting a 3.26 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9, so it’s a really tough blow.

With Buchholz out of the mix, the Red Sox have called up prospect left-hander Brian Johnson. Ranked as the No. 82 prospect by Baseball America coming into the year, the 24-year-old had a 2.73 ERA and 81/26 K/BB ratio in 85 2/3 innings over 16 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

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).