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Shohei Ohtani wants to compete in Home Run Derby

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Angels DH Shohei Ohtani said on Monday, through an interpreter, that he would participate in the 2019 Home Run Derby if invited, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. So far, Major League Baseball hasn’t contacted Ohtani about the event.

Ohtani, who underwent Tommy John surgery in October and won’t be cleared to pitch until 2020, would have to get the OK from team doctors before participating in the Home Run Derby. He has been able to hit with no restrictions since making his season debut on May 7.

To date, Ohtani has hit .276/.341/.493 with nine home runs and 30 RBI in 170 plate appearances this season.

Yankees first baseman Luke Voit has also expressed interest in participating in the Home Run Derby, which will take place on Monday, July 8 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The contest has better prizes now, with the total prize pool having been increased to $2.5 million, up from $750,000. The winner gets $1 million, the runner-up gets $500,000, and the other six participants will earn $150,000

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).