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St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) heads out for a curtain call after hitting his 700th career home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 23, 2022 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

San Diegans just missed out – Albert Pujols on Friday became the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 700 home runs, with two at Dodger Stadium.

The St. Louis Cardinal hit Dodger Andrew Heaney’s four-seam fastball 434 feet into the left- center field stands in the third inning for his 699th homer.

He sent Phil Bickford’s slider 389 feet, also into the left-center field stands, in the fourth inning for his 700th.

The second home run gave St. Louis a 5-0 lead with Pujols driving in all five runs early on in the St. Louis rout of the Dodgers.

Pujols completed a three-game set with the Cardinals on Thursday in San Diego. Fans had packed Petco Park during the series hoping to see history. Alas, the future Hall of Famer went homer-less in the three games.

After crossing home plate Friday, Pujols ran to backstop to embrace his close friend, retired third baseman Adrian Beltre – and former Dodger – who was sitting in the stands.

Pujols joins Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the only players to have hit at least 700 home runs.

Pujols, 42, also became the first player to hit his 699th and 700th home runs in the same game. The home runs increased his total for the season to 21, his most since 2019 when he hit 23.

Pujols and Bickford were teammates last season with the Dodgers. He was the first batter Bickford faced Friday.

Pujols and Heaney also were teammates, with the Los Angeles Angels from 2015-20.

The veteran has said repeatedly he will retire at the conclusion of the Cardinals’ season.

City News Service


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Ellen Bullock