PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
MLB: Los Angeles Angels 1B Albert Pujols
Once he hit career homer No. 499 Tuesday night at Washington, Pujols wasted no time getting to 500. He avoided the final countdown by hitting two homers in that game to become the 26th player to reach that plateau and the first to hit Nos. 499 and 500 in the same game. Pujols entered Saturday with nine homers, tops in the majors.
BREWERS: RHP Francisco Rodriguez
Rodriguez has been about as good as a closer can be. Entering Saturday, he was unscored upon in 13 appearances and 10 for 10 in save opportunities, tying the franchise record for saves in March/April. Rodriguez had allowed five hits and three walks with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings.
A's at Rangers: Monday-Wednesday. Clash in the AL West.
Rays at Red Sox: Tuesday-Thursday. Both teams need boost.
Giants at Braves: Friday-Sunday. Hudson returns to Atlanta.
Blue Jays at Pirates: Friday-Sunday. Intriguing interleague clash.
BREWERS THIS WEEK
The Brewers will have an opportunity to open a bigger lead on the Cardinals in the NL Central when they visit St. Louis for a three-game series. Then, the Brewers it's on to take on another division foe when they go to Cincinnati for four games against the Reds.
DID YOU KNOW?
With an eighth-inning double Wednesday night at Detroit's Comerica Park, the Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko collected his 3,950th total base, breaking the club mark of 3,949 set by new Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Konerko has enjoyed hitting at Comerica, tying Boston's David Ortiz for most homers by a visiting player at 18.
YOU FIGURE IT OUT
The Boston Red Sox are not playing like defending World Series champs. In a 14-5 loss Thursday to the New York Yankees, the Red Sox committed five errors, uncorked three wild pitches and failed to two turn two easy double plays.
The five errors were the most for Boston since committing five on April 28, 2001, against Kansas City. The last time the Red Sox committed as many errors against the Yankees, it was the seven-error game on Sept. 8, 1978, during the infamous "Boston Massacre" series.
The Red Sox already have allowed 17 unearned runs, compared to 43 for all of last season.
"Defensive errors, they're going to happen," manager John Farrell said. "They're more physical in nature than mental. While we've had some mental errors, I wouldn't say that the shortcomings that we've shown are effort-related."
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