St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols joins the 700 club with two-home run day

LOS ANGELES — Albert Pujols grew to become the fourth member of the 700 residence run club on Friday night time, and he did so in emphatic vogue, launching two residence runs in entrance of a packed Dodger Stadium crowd.

The first homer — a 434-foot, two-run blast to left area — got here off Dodgers left-hander Andrew Heaney in the third inning. The second one was a three-run shot in the fourth off righty Phil Bickford. By that time the St. Louis Cardinals held a 5-0 lead, and Pujols had pushed in all of his group’s runs.

Upon crossing residence plate, Pujols raced to the backstop to embrace Adrian Beltre, his longtime rival and certainly one of his closest pals. Shortly thereafter, he discovered Yadier Molina and wrapped him in an emphatic hug.

Pujols, winding down the remaining season of a Hall of Fame profession, joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth in the 700 residence run club. He is the just one amongst them to hit Nos. 699 and 700 on the similar night time. Pujols now has 2,208 RBIs for his profession, solely six away from tying Ruth for second on the all-time checklist.

It’s becoming, maybe, that the 42-year-old designated hitter completed an unimaginable milestone right here at Dodger Stadium, the place that he has typically mentioned performed a giant half in energizing him to play one remaining season in 2022.

Pujols joined the Dodgers final May, shortly after his launch from the Los Angeles Angels, and was reinvigorated whereas serving as a part-time starter and late-game pinch-hitter over the final five-plus months. He was efficient in opposition to left-handers and was a serious affect in a veteran-laden clubhouse that lovingly known as him “Uncle Albert.”

Prior to the sport, the Dodgers performed a montage for Pujols, with Julio Urias, Hanser Alberto, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Will Smith and Dave Roberts offering heartfelt messages. Pujols and Molina have been gifted golf baggage to commemorate their remaining seasons, then Pujols grabbed the mic to thank the Dodgers’ followers and their group.

“It introduced me a lot pleasure, not simply to me, however to my household,” Pujols, addressing the media earlier than the sport, mentioned when requested what the environment at Dodger Stadium meant to him. “I believe it introduced one thing inside me, that little boy as soon as once more that was lacking that a part of the sport.”

Pujols’ remaining season has seen him play a few of his finest baseball down the stretch. He entered Friday’s sport batting .313/.378/.657 with 13 residence runs and 33 RBIs in 47 second-half video games, throughout which he handed Alex Rodriguez (696) for sole possession of fourth place on the all-time residence runs checklist. . His surge has coincided with the Cardinals virtually working away from the remainder of the National League Central.

Pujols began this season as a platoon possibility at DH, however he has morphed into certainly one of the Cardinals’ most constant hitters and is principally an on a regular basis participant as they enterprise into the postseason.

Pujols now has 21 residence runs on the yr, giving him 18 20-homer seasons for his profession, third-most in historical past behind solely Aaron (20) and Bonds (19). He joins Ted Williams as the solely gamers to hit 20 residence runs in each their first and remaining seasons. He owns the most multihomer video games after turning 42 in main league historical past, with 4.

“I do not chase numbers,” Pujols mentioned earlier this week. “I did not chase 100, and I obtained 698. It’s the similar factor — trusting my course of.”

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