Indians hire Carl Willis as their new pitching coach

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With Mickey Callaway taking over the Mets’ managerial job, the Indians were in need of a pitching coach. They aren’t any longer, though, as the team just announced that they have hired Carl Willis for the job.

This is Willis’ second tour of duty as the Indians’ pitching coach, having served in that role from 2003 through 2009 under manager Eric Wedge. He has spent the past couple of years as John Farrell’s pitching coach with the Boston Red Sox. He also served in Boston.

Four pitchers have won Cy Young Awards under his tutelage: CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Rick Porcello and Felix Hernandez.

 

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).