Trade candidate Matt Garza returns to the Brewers’ rotation

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Right-hander Matt Garza is off the disabled list and back in the Brewers’ rotation after missing the past two weeks with shoulder tendinitis.

Garza missed the minimum 15 days, which is noteworthy because the Brewers would clearly love to trade him before July 31 if possible and this gives him a chance to make two starts prior to the deadline.

Of course, it may be a moot point. Garza had a 5.55 ERA in 17 starts before going on the disabled list, was good but not great in 27 starts last season, and is owed $12 million in both 2016 and 2017. No matter how he looks in the past 10 days, Milwaukee would almost surely have to eat a big chunk of that remaining money to move Garza for anything resembling a prospect.

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).