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What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

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The Rangers and Yankees, Dodgers and Brewers, as well as the Twins and White Sox kicked off Thursday’s schedule with some afternoon games. Eight evening games are left on the schedule, highlighted by the Giants and Athletics. As mentioned earlier, the Giants are intentionally giving up the DH to allow Madison Bumgarner to hit for himself. The Indians will go for their 13th consecutive win.

The Orioles will not just try to win their eighth consecutive game on Thursday, but also to match or surpass the all-time record for home runs in a single month. The 1987 Orioles and the 1999 Mariners both hit 59 home runs. The 2016 O’s have belted 55 dingers, so they’ll need four to tie and five to set the new record. The Orioles, who lead the majors in homers with 124 as a team, have hit four-plus home runs 10 times in 77 games, and five-plus homers four times. So, as powerful as the Orioles are, it’s still not likely they’ll be setting the new record. If it’s any consolation, they have already tied the June record for home runs with 55, matching the 1996 Athletics.

Taijuan Walker will toe the slab for the Mariners while Chris Tillman goes for the Orioles in a 10:10 PM EDT start at Safeco Field. Walker has never given up more than three home runs in a start.

The rest of Thursday’s action…

Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan) @ Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez), 7:05 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco) @ Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey), 7:07 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (John Lackey) @ New York Mets (Steven Matz), 7:10 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Chris Young) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake), 7:15 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @ Oakland Athletics (Dillon Overton), 10:05 PM EDT

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).