Nationals sign veteran starter Bronson Arroyo

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Bronson Arroyo has agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It’s a minor league contract that includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Arroyo turns 39 years old next month and missed the entire 2015 season following Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, but the lanky right-hander was among the most durable starting pitchers in baseball for a 10-year stretch from 2004-2013, averaging 207 innings per season.

If he can successfully complete his elbow rehab, Arroyo will be able to provide organizational rotation depth for the Nationals behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross.

Arroyo, a 16-year major league veteran, owns a 4.19 career ERA and 1.29 career WHIP.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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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).