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Jose De Leon slated for Sunday debut


With Clayton Kershaw still a solid rehab start away from rejoining the rotation and Julio Urias‘ role changing day by day, the Dodgers will call up No. 2 pitching prospect Jose De Leon on Saturday, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

The call couldn’t come at a better time for the Dodgers, who have been neck-and-neck with the Giants through August. They’re clinging to a 2.5-game lead heading into Friday, but with 19-year-old sometime-starter Urias looking like the most stable part of the rotation right now, adding another arm should help solidify their place in the division race and give them some much-needed depth heading into the postseason. De Leon carries a 2.61 ERA and 0.93 WHIP through 86 ⅓ innings in 2016, beefed up by an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 111/20.

Speaking of playoff finishes, the 24-year-old right-hander has some experience with that. He bulldozed his way through a 13-strikeout performance with Triple-A Oklahoma City last weekend, reaching a season-best strikeout total and helping the Oklahoma City Dodgers to their second consecutive division title. Sure, it’s not the pressure cooker of a Game 7 start in the World Series, but his ability to keep cool in a high stakes situation should come in handy as he transitions to the big leagues.

De Leon is expected to make his major league debut during Sunday’s series finale against the Padres.

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).