LOS ANGELES (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th profession residence run on Friday night time, connecting for his second drive of the sport in opposition to the Los Angeles Dodgers and turning into the fourth participant to succeed in the milestone in main league historical past.
The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 within the third inning, then launched No. 700 within the fourth at Dodger Stadium.
With the drive within the closing days of his final massive league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one among baseball’s most unique golf equipment.
It’s been a outstanding run for Pujols. This was his 14th residence run for the reason that begin of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his twenty first of the season.
Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot in opposition to Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed within the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the identical location his two-run shot touched down the earlier inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.
Pujols acquired a chronic standing ovation from the gang — he completed out final season whereas taking part in for the Dodgers. He took a curtain name, elevating his cap in acknowledgment.
The followers chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They lastly sat down after being on their toes in anticipation of seeing historical past.
Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the checklist when he hit profession homer No. 697 in opposition to Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.
Reaching 700 homers appeared like a protracted shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. However the three-time NL MVP began to seek out his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in a single 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis draw back within the division race.
“I do know that early within the yr … I clearly needed higher outcomes,” Pujols mentioned after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “However I felt like I used to be hitting the ball laborious. Generally this recreation goes to take extra away from you than the sport (is) providing you with again.
“So I believe on the finish of the day you must be constructive and simply keep targeted and belief your work. That’s one thing that I’ve accomplished on a regular basis.”
Pujols has loved a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest complete since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.
He plans to retire when the season ends.
Pujols additionally started his profession in St. Louis. He was chosen by the Cardinals within the thirteenth spherical of the 1999 newbie draft and received the 2001 NL Rookie of the 12 months award.
The Dominican Republic native hit a minimum of .300 with a minimum of 30 homers and 100 RBIs in every of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Collection titles in 2006 and 2011.
He set a profession excessive with 49 homers in 2006 — one among seven seasons with a minimum of 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.
Pujols left St. Louis in free company in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in Might 2021, after which joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 video games.