Rangers fire manager Chris Woodward short of his 500th game

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward with the team on pace for its sixth consecutive losing season and fourth since he took over the team.

The move came two days before Woodward would have managed his 500th game with the Rangers. He finished with a 211-287 record in his first managerial job.

Woodward was under contract through next season, and the team held an option for the 2024 season.

Third base coach Tony Beasley was named the team’s interim manager.

Texas is 53-61 after a series win at home over the Seattle Mariners, but hasn’t had a winning record at any point this season. That’s even after a record offseason spending spree that added a half-billion dollar infield – All-Star shortstop Corey Seager to a 10-year, $325 million contract, and Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien to a seven-year deal, $175 million.

The Rangers peaked at 24-24 at the end of May, but then lost their next three games and five of six.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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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).