Anthony Rendon dealing with oblique injury

Anthony Rendon dealing with oblique injury
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Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon is dealing with an oblique injury and may not be ready for Opening Day, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. Rendon suffered the injury swinging during the fourth inning of an intrasquad game on Wednesday.

Rendon, 30, signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels in December, one of the biggest free agent signings during the past offseason. He’s coming off of a third-place finish in NL MVP Award voting. He hit .319/.412/.598 with 44 doubles, 34 home runs, 126 RBI, and 117 runs scored over 646 plate appearances, helping the Nationals get back to the postseason and ultimately win the first World Series in franchise history.

If Rendon isn’t ready for Opening Day, David Fletcher would handle third base in his place. Fletcher has been solid across two seasons in the majors, but he isn’t Anthony Rendon. The 26-year-old owns a .716 OPS over 960 trips to the plate since debuting in 2018.

The Angels open the 60-game regular season on July 24 with a four-game road trip against the Athletics. Andrew Heaney will start on Opening Day for the Halos. The 29-year-old Heaney will pitch opposite Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas to kick off the season.

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).