Joe Blanton signs $4 million deal with the Dodgers

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Joe Blanton resurrected his career as a reliever for the Royals and Pirates last season and now he’s signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Blanton spent a decade as a durable back-of-the-rotation starter, but had a brutal 2013 season for the Angels and then didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2014.

He made it back to the big leagues with the Royals and then joined the Pirates in late July, combining to throw 76 innings with a 2.84 ERA and 79/16 K/BB ratio while being used almost exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career at age 34.

Blanton looked like a totally different pitcher working out of the bullpen and that’s the role he’ll fill with the Dodgers, who’re taking a relatively inexpensive one-year flier on his 2015 performance being the real deal.

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).