MLB

Albert Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Sep 23, 2022, 8:48 PM | Updated: 8:48 pm
Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits career homerun 700 in front of Will Smith #16 of t...
Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits career homerun 700 in front of Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a three run homerun to take a 5-0 lead, during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd — he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 — one of seven seasons with at least 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 agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.

Penguin Air

MLB

Houston Astros relief pitcher Ryan Pressly and catcher Martin Maldonado celebrate their win in Game...
Associated Press

Astros win crucial Game 5, put Phillies on brink of elimination

Jeremy Peña trotted around third base, looked toward the Houston dugout and gave a casual two-handed shrug.
30 days ago
Christian Vazquez #9 and Ryan Pressly #55 of the Houston Astros celebrate a combined no-hitter to d...
Associated Press

Astros combine for 2nd no-hitter in World Series history

Cristian Javier and Houston's bullpen threw the second no-hitter in World Series history, as the Astros blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0.
1 month ago
The Houston Astros celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 6-5 to win Game 4 and the America...
Associated Press

Astros sweep Yankees in ALCS, advance to World Series again

Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman delivered big hits and the Houston Astros advanced to the World Series again.
1 month ago
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees smiles as he rounds the bases after hitting his 62nd home r...
Associated Press

Aaron Judge hits 62nd home run to break Roger Maris’ AL record

Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night to break Roger Maris’ American League single-season record.
2 months ago
Arizona St. center fielder Joe Lampe (5) fouls off a pitch during the game between the Arizona Stat...
Jake Anderson

Here are all the 2022 MLB draftees with Arizona ties

The 2022 MLB Draft is officially in the books and a total of 20 baseball players from Arizona's college and high school ranks were selected.
5 months ago
Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies argues with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez after...
Associated Press

Umpire Angel Hernandez asks appeals court to reinstate suit vs. MLB

Lawyers for veteran umpire Angel Hernandez claim Major League Baseball manipulated the umpire’s evaluations.
6 months ago
Albert Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark