St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hits 703rd career home run

PITTSBURGH — Albert Pujols hit his 703rd career home run Monday night.

The 42-year-old slugger connected for the St. Louis Cardinals off Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller, pulling a two-run shot into the left-field stands to snap a scoreless tie in the sixth inning of the Cards’ eventual 3-2 loss.

It was Pujols’ 35th career home run at PNC Park, his most at any visiting ballpark.

The drive gave Pujols 2,216 RBIs, which ranks second all time behind Hank Aaron’s 2,297. Babe Ruth unofficially drove in 2,214 runs, but many were not counted because the statistic was not recognized by baseball until 1920.

“Seeing him hit a home run in that situation was fun to watch,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “You feel pretty good about where you’re at whenever he swings, and his home runs have been very meaningful.”

Pujols, who plans to retire after the season, has 24 home runs this year — his most since hitting 31 for the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. He is one of four players in major league history with 700, joining Barry Bonds (762), Aaron (755) and Ruth (714).

Pujols, who did not speak with reporters following the game, had been hitless in eight career at-bats against Keller.

“It’s an amazing time to be around him and being around this team,” Cardinals starting pitcher Jose Quintana said. “He keeps believing in his abilities. The most impressive thing is he homers, then he’s ready for the next one. He wants to keep going.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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