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Tampa Bay Rays designate Brad Miller, call up prospect Jake Bauers

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The Tampa Bay Rays have designated infielder Brad Miller for assignment.

Miller, who has primarily played first base this year, was hitting .256/.322/.429 with five homers in 48 games. That was actually a fairly significant improvement over what he did in 2017, when he put up a line of .201/.327/.337 in over 100 games of work, thanks primarily to injuries. Miller hit 30 homers in 2016, but he’s shown no suggestion that he’s able to replicate that feat.

The Rays will look for somewhere to trade Miller, though it may be tough finding anyone who will assume the remainder of the $4.5 million he’s owed for 2018.

Miller’s production was less the issue than roster space, however, as the Rays made the move in order to make room for prospect Jake Bauers, who is being called up to the bigs.

Bauers, originally in the Padres system, but traded to the Rays in the Wil Myers deal, has progressed nicely through the minors. He’s 22 and, in the past two seasons, he’s hit .268/.365/.416 at Triple-A Duham, and is among the Rays top prospects. A first baseman, he’s obviously going to take Miller’s at bats going forward.

Angels’ Pujols passes Mays for 5th on homer list with No. 661

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas.

The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin‘s fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field.

Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado.

It is only Pujols’ second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year.

Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more pitchers (449).