By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols have won baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year awards. Verlander, the American League recipient, returned from Tommy John surgery to lead Houston to its second World Series championship. He had the lowest ERA in the majors and was a unanimous winner of his third Cy Young Award — becoming the first player to earn the prize after not pitching in the previous season. Pujols, honored in the National League, came back to St. Louis for his final season and posted his biggest numbers in years at age 42. The three-time MVP compiled an .895 OPS for the NL Central champions and became the fourth major leaguer to reach 700 career home runs.