Angels DH Albert Pujols put the Angels on the board in the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Astros, swatting a grand slam off of starter Josh James for career home run No. 658. The blast put the Angels on top of the Astros 4-2. Pujols also hit a grand slam for his 600th career home run; it was his most recent grand slam prior to Sunday.
Pujols, 40, now has a pair of homers and five RBI on the season. In his 20th major league season, Pujols has already achieved a lot of career milestones. He has over 3,200 hits, over 660 doubles, over 2,076 RBI. Until recently, he was even hitting .300 for his career.
With two more home runs, Pujols will tie Willie Mays at 660 for fifth on MLB’s all-time home run leaderboard. Álex Rodríguez is fourth at 696. Pujols is also six RBI behind Rodríguez for third on MLB’s all-time RBI leaderboard at 2,086.
Pujols is signed through 2021. It is possible, though unlikely, for him to reach 700 home runs and 2,200 RBI by the end of next season. Whether he will want to continue his career after 2021, and whether a team will want to sign him, remains to be seen.
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.
The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.
Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.
The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.
The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.
Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.
Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.