Pirates interested in Mat Latos as latest reclamation project

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Their never-ending search for possible pitching reclamation projects has led the Pirates to express interest in free agent right-hander Mat Latos, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Latos posted a sub-3.50 ERA every season from 2010-2014, but then injuries derailed him and his performance fell apart this year. He pitched for three teams in 2015, struggling for the Dodgers, Angels, and Marlins with a combined 4.95 ERA in 113 innings. He also left at least two of those teams amid stories of clubhouse issues.

Latos is still just 28 years old and getting him back on track would provide a huge return on what figures to be a minimal investment, following the same path the Pirates took with recent scrap-heap success stories like Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, and Edinson Volquez.

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).