Cards’ Pujols hits 700th home run, 4th participant to achieve mark – Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th home run on Friday evening, connecting for his second drive of the sport towards the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in main league historical past.

With the drive in the last days of his last huge league season, the 42-year-old Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive golf equipment.

A man sporting a blue Dodgers shirt with Hideo Nomo’s No. 16 on the back snagged the 700th homer ball. He was whisked under the stands as he clutched a black glove containing the historic souvenir ball to his chest. Prolonged negotiations went on earlier than the man was escorted out of Dodger Stadium flanked by 10 safety personnel and into a ready SUV.

Showing the pop from his youthful, dominant days, the 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 within the fourth.

A 37-year-old Los Angeles man, Cesar Soriano, snagged No. 699. He turned the ball over to safety after being told he may meet Pujols.

The Cardinals routed the NL West champion Dodgers 11-0.

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

Fairly recently, many thought of him a long shot to reach 700 this season. He went into August batting solely .235 with just seven residence runs.

But with two long pictures on this evening, he made his mark.

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

He jogged across the bases smiling all the way. After crossing the plate and pointing his fingers skyward, Pujols went over to greet fellow Dominican and former Dodgers star Adrian Beltre. They high-fived via the protecting netting.

Then he was off to the Cardinals dugout, getting hugs and congratulations every step of the best way.

Pujols acquired a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd — he finished out last season whereas taking part in for the Dodgers. He took a curtain name, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The crowd of 50,041 chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their ft in anticipation of seeing historical past.

His 700th homer gave him a few different nice, round numbers, too — he has hit 500 home runs off right-handers and 200 off lefties.

Pujols connected twice on the same evening New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge remained on deck for house run historical past. He remained at 60 homers, just in need of tying Roger Maris’ AL mark of 61 in 1961, in a win at Yankee Stadium.

Pujols’ two bops gave the Cardinals a 5-0 lead, with all of the runs coming courtesy of his massive bat.

The Cardinals extended their lead to 8-0 within the fifth on Dylan Carlson’s RBI double and Lars Nootbaar’s two-run homer. They added two extra runs within the seventh on Juan Yepez’s solo shot and Nootbaar’s RBI single.

Pujols struck out swinging in his first at-bat towards Heaney and grounded out to brief in the sixth. He was changed in the eighth by pinch-hitter Alec Burleson, who homered.

José Quintana (6-6) obtained the victory. He scattered five hits over 6 2/3 innings and struck out six. Heaney (3-3) took the loss.

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

The three-time NL MVP was batting .189 on July 4. But he started to search 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 know that early in the year … I obviously wished 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 exhausting. Sometimes this sport goes to take extra away from you than the sport (is) supplying you with again.

“So I assume on the end of the day you must be positive and simply stay centered and belief your work. That’s one thing that I’ve accomplished on an everyday basis.”

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

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols additionally started his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals within the 13th spherical of the 1999 novice draft and received the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit no much less than .300 with a minimum of 30 homers and 100 RBIs in every of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a profession high with 49 homers in 2006 — one of seven seasons with no much less than 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, after which joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: All-Star RHP Tony Gonsolin (forearm) will throw two innings in a rehab assignment Tuesday for Triple-A Oklahoma City. … LHP David Price (wrist) will throw to reside hitters again in a pair days.

HONORING ALBERT AND YADI

The Dodgers honored Cardinals teammates Pujols and catcher Yadier Molina, each of whom are retiring at season’s finish.

The players had been greeted by a standing ovation when they strode to residence plate before the sport. Their career highlights were shown on the stadium’s massive screens.

Both players had been presented with white golf luggage earlier than Pujols took the mic and thanked his former teammates and followers for treating him properly throughout his lone season in LA final 12 months.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-5, 3.26 ERA) makes his second street start with the staff since coming from the Yankees. He tossed a one-hit shutout in his different one in opposition to the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22 in a 1-0 victory.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-3, 2.39) makes his 20th start of the season. He has 117 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings.

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AP freelance writer Jolene Latimer contributed to this report.

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