Opening Day 2018: American League Central Previews

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The Indians may be the least talked about 102-win team in baseball history, but to fix that they’ll need to make some postseason noise this year. The Twins went out and added talent this year and are many people’s choice to win a Wild Card. Can they challenge Cleveland, though? The Royals four-year stretch of win-now thinking seems to be over. The White Sox are still rebuilding, but are they far enough along to surprise anyone? The Tigers are gonna be bad, folks. No sugarcoating that.

Our previews:

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).