Clayton Kershaw sets playoff record with eighth home run allowed

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has pitched well this postseason, which seemed to put the nail in the coffin of his perceived playoff struggles. From 2008-16, Kershaw had a 4.55 postseason ERA. This postseason, entering Sunday’s action, he had a 2.96 ERA across four starts.

That narrative is about to reanimate. With a fourth-inning, game-tying three-run home run allowed to disgraced Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, Kershaw set a new postseason record for home runs allowed, according to Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues. Gurriel’s blast was number eight for Kershaw in the playoffs this year.

Half of those  homers came in Kershaw’s Game 1 start against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte, and Jeff Mathis all hit solo homers against him. Albert Almora, Jr. hit a two-run shot off Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLCS. Kris Bryant got him with the bags empty in Game 5. And, in Game 1 of the World Series, Alex Bregman took Kershaw yard for a solo shot.

Kershaw set a career-high during the regular season, yielding 23 round-trippers. Considering that the 2017 season set an all-time record for home runs, that’s not so bad. Perhaps Kershaw’s record also has something to do with the allegedly slicker baseballs used in the World Series.

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).