Tigers sign ex-Mets reliever Bobby Parnell

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Right-hander Bobby Parnell, whose run with the Mets was derailed by Tommy John elbow surgery in 2014, has signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers that includes an invitation to spring training.

Parnell struggled to come back from surgery last year, posting a 6.38 ERA in 24 innings before opting to go on the disabled list rather than being released. However, before blowing out his elbow Parnell was a very good late-inning reliever and occasional closer with a 2.79 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 212 innings from 2010-2013.

Regaining his lost velocity will be key for Parnell, who reached the upper-90s with his fastball before the surgery. Detroit is always in need of bullpen help and the 31-year-old could emerge as an interesting low-cost flier.

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).