Jaime Garcia wasn’t happy Joe Girardi pulled him in the fifth inning

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Yankees starter Jaime Garcia‘s line score for Wednesday afternoon’s start against the Rays at Citi Field looked fine: one run allowed, five hits, one walk, four strikeouts. There was just one issue: he lasted only 4 2/3 innings, something he wasn’t happy about.

Garcia got two quick outs in the fifth, but Lucas Duda singled to keep the inning alive. Manager Joe Girardi went out to the mound and removed Garcia at just 78 pitches. Garcia didn’t make eye contact with Girardi when he handed him the ball, and the two were later seen in a face-to-face argument in the dugout.

The move worked, as Chad Green got the final out of the fifth, then pitched a scoreless sixth by striking out the side. The Yankees went on to win 3-2.

Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Girardi said after the game, “I understand if he’s still mad. I’m OK with that.”

In Girardi’s defense, his team is involved in two very important battles: the club is 3.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East, and leads the Twins for the first AL Wild Card slot by 3.5 games. Garcia hadn’t exactly been lights out since joining the Yankees, yielding 18 runs (14 earned) in five starts for an unsightly 5.11 ERA. That also includes a mediocre 20/16 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings.

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).