Kyle Lohse retires

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Pitcher Kyle Lohse announced his retirement from baseball via his Instagram page on Thursday:

Lohse, 39, signed a minor league contract with the Royals at the end of March. He spent April in extended spring training, then reported to Triple-A Omaha earlier this month. He struggled in two starts, giving up 12 runs on 17 hits and five walks with five strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. The Royals released him on Thursday evening, which likely prompted his announcement.

Lohse pitched parts of 16 seasons in the majors with the Twins, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Rangers, and Phillies. In 418 starts and 39 relief appearances, the right-hander compiled a 4.40 ERA with 1,615 strikeouts and 694 walks over 2,531 2/3 innings. Lohse’s best year came in 2012 when he finished seventh in NL Cy Young Award balloting, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the Cardinals.

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).