Chip Hale joins Nationals as a bench coach

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Chip Hale will be the Nationals’ new bench coach.

Hale, 52, was the Athletics’ third base coach during the 2017 season. Before that, he managed the Diamondbacks for two seasons in 2015-16, leading them to an overall 148-176 (.457) record.

Hale joins the coaching staff under new Nationals manager Dave Martinez. Kevin Long joined the team as a hitting coach and Bob Henley returned as a third base coach.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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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).