Braves sign Drew Stubbs to a minor league contract

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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves have signed outfielder Drew Stubbs to a minor league contract with an invitation to the remainder of spring training. Bowman adds that Jeff Francoeur “seems safe” and that the final outfield spot could come down to Stubbs and Michael Bourn, leaving Emilio Bonifacio on the outside looking in.

Stubbs, 31, was with the Rangers on a minor league deal but was released on Tuesday. He had a solid showing in the Cactus League, hitting .300/.356/.500 with a pair of doubles and home runs as well as three stolen bases over 40 at-bats.

Aside from 2014, which was helped by Coors Field, Stubbs has been a below-average hitter over the last five seasons. He can still play solid defense and swipe some bases, though, which could be useful for the Braves.

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).