Mets sign Nori Aoki

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The Mets signed veteran outfielder Nori Aoki on Saturday, per a team announcement. Aoki was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Monday and passed through waivers unclaimed. He’s expected to join the team on the road in Houston and should be available off the bench during Saturday’s doubleheader.

Aoki, 35, slashed .274/.319/.402 in back-to-back campaigns with the Astros and Blue Jays this season, racking up a collective five home runs, 27 RBI and .724 OPS in 258 plate appearances. He hasn’t found consistent playing time in the big leagues since his 118-game stint with the Mariners in 2016, but should see plenty of starts in an outfield that has been hampered by season-ending injuries to Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes.

The veteran outfielder is under team control through 2018, and MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo speculates that the move may be more than a simple attempt to salvage the end of an underwhelming season. Even with the return of Cespedes and Conforto next spring, the team is short on outfielders after dealing Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce last month, and could use the extra help from a career .285/.350/.388 hitter.

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).