Report: Will Middlebrooks to retire

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that corner infielder Will Middlebrooks is retiring from baseball. Middlebrooks, 30, suffered a fractured left fibula when he collided with then-teammate Andrew Pullin during a spring training game for the Phillies last February.

Injuries limited Middlebrooks throughout his six-year major league career, which spanned 2012-17 with the Red Sox, Rangers, Padres, and Brewers. Overall, he hit .228/.272/.391 in 347 games. He earned a World Series ring in 2013 with the Red Sox.

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).