Johnny Cueto was nearly traded to the Royals on Saturday

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi, the Cincinnati Reds were just a step or two away from trading ace right-hander Johnny Cueto to the Royals on Saturday evening.

The deal was so close to happening that Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen began warming up for Saturday night’s game against the Rockies in anticipation of Cueto departing immediately for Kansas City. Cueto did end up starting the game and he went eight scoreless innings at Coors Field, the least pitcher-friendly park in the majors. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Cueto was upset that he learned from Lorenzen, instead of the Reds management, that a deal was close. Maybe it added some fuel to his dominant performance.

According to Rosenthal, the trade broke down when one of the players due to be sent from the Royals to the Reds did not check out medically. It figures that the two sides aren’t completely done talking.

Cueto, a 29-year-old impending free agent, boasts a 2.62 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 120/29 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings this season. He’s also been linked to the Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros.

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).