Around the horn: Albert Pujols is in rare company of players with multi-homer games

Albert Pujols is dealing with a strained left hamstring but the Angels believe the slugger can avoid going on the disabled list.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Albert Pujols of the Angels has 52 multi-homer games in his career. Only six players since 1980 have had more than that. Who are they? Answer at end. …

The Atlanta Braves have hit four home runs this season through Thursday’s game, a total matched or exceeded by 36 players. The Braves ended a 15-game homerless streak Wednesday, their longest since 1970.... Kyle Seager, brother of Dodger Corey Seager, hit his 100th career home run, becoming only the 12th Mariner to reach that mark. …

The Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen is 0-7 this season…. Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, to USA Today on rumors that his great pitching is due to the use of performance-enhancing drugs: “I’ve heard players, and I’m talking about some of the best players in the league, question whether I’ve taken steroids or not. Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly. I eat plants. I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way. If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way. …

Arrieta’s streak of quality starts ended at 24 last week. It is the third-longest streak in history behind Bob Gibson of St. Louis (26 in 1967-68) and Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox (25 in 1916-17).... After hitting .333 with eight homers in his first nine games, Colorado’s Trevor Story hit .146 with one homer in his next nine.... The slumping Reds should get some rotation help this week, with Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and John Lamb finishing up minor league rehab assignments....


With his three homers in one game Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen became only the fourth Pirate to do that multiple times, joining Willie Stargell, Ralph Kiner, Roberto Clemente…. WAR leaders in each league: NL batting, St. Louis’ Aledmys Diaz (1.6), NL pitching, Arrieta (1.8); AL batting, Houston’s Jose Altuve (1.0), AL pitching, Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann (1.5).....

Answer: Barry Bonds (71), Sammy Sosa (69), Mark McGwire (67), Alex Rodriguez (62), Ken Griffey Jr. (55), Manny Ramirez (54).

--Houston Mitchell



Twitter reaction to Dee Gordon’s suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy

“This PED [crap] is killing me. If u test positive u need to not play. You shouldn’t be allowed to effect games while appealing”

— Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers pitcher (@JustinVerlander)

“so he had a career year and said ‘Oh, what the hell, why not cheat the game now?’ This is a sad one man.”


— Brandon McCarthy, Dodgers pitcher (@BMcCarthy32)


at Tampa Bay: Tuesday PDT, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 4 p.m.

at Toronto: Friday, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.


Andrew Friedman’s clubs — old ($72 million payroll) and new ($227 million) — hovering around .500.


at Milwaukee: Monday, 4:15 p.m. PDT; Tuesday, 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.

vs. Tampa Bay: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 p.m.


LF Ryan Braun (.338/.417/.595) can block a trade to 25 teams. The Angels are not one of them.


Washington Nationals at Kansas City Royals

Monday through Wednesday


The team that was supposed to win last year against the team that did. Nationals have the second-best record in MLB, under new Manager Dusty Baker.

--Bill Shaikin