Albert Pujols joined baseball’s 700-homer club on Friday in Los Angeles, becoming just the fourth player to reach the milestone.
The St. Louis Cardinals slugger hit two home runs in the first four innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in order to reach the 700, going deep against left-hander Andrew Heaney in the third and against right-hander Phil Bickford in the fourth.
The first home run was a no-doubt-about-it shot halfway up the bleachers in left field and gave the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. His second homer of the night also was to left field for a 5-0 advantage, with Pujols having all five RBIs.
After crossing home plate, Pujols went to the front row of the stands, where he greeted former major-leaguer Adrian Beltre. After returning to the dugout, he received a curtain call from the Dodger Stadium crowd, while players from the Dodgers dugout applauded the moment.
Friday’s game was reminiscent of April 22, 2014, when Pujols hit home run Nos. 499 and 500 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels against the host Washington Nationals.
The latest long balls were the 20th and 21st of the season for Pujols, who hit 12 with the Dodgers last season. The veteran, in his 22nd major league season, has 15 of those 21 home runs in the second half this season during a run that started after he participated in the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium.
The only players ahead of Pujols on the all-time homer list are Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).
Pujols, who has said he will retire at the end of the season at age 42, has 466 career home runs with the Cardinals and 222 with the Angels in addition to his 12 with the Dodgers.
–Field Level Media