MLB

Dodgers’ Albert Pujols homers vs. Cardinals in first at-bat of potential final series at Busch Stadium

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Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols homered against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night in his first at-bat in what could be his final series at Busch Stadium

Pujols received a standing ovation prior to the home run. He then sent a J.A. Happ pitch 386 feet into the night, according to Statcast. Here’s the film:

It’s worth noting that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Pujols’ longtime teammate, stood in front of the plate before the home run, thus enabling the St. Louis crowd to give Pujols a prolonged ovation. That tidbit comes courtesy of TSN’s Ryan Fagan, who tweeted the following photograph:

Pujols, 41, will qualify for free agency at season’s end. He hasn’t explicitly stated this will be his final campaign, but it stands to reason that he’s nearing the conclusion of a storied career.

Pujols, of course, spent 11 seasons with the Cardinals. During that time, he recorded 2,073 hits, 445 home runs, and a .328/.420/.617 (170 OPS+) slash line. He won three Most Valuable Player Awards, two World Series championships, and a Rookie of the Year Award. He also won six Silver Sluggers and a pair of Gold Gloves.

This series wasn’t Pujols’ first back in St. Louis since he left to join the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season. He returned in 2019 and received a standing ovation. Take a look and a listen:

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgence since joining the Dodgers in May. In 69 games since, he’s hit .261/.303/.479 (109 OPS+) with 11 home runs and 36 runs batted in. 

Pujols’ home run on Tuesday night, by the way, was the 679th of his career. He’s now 17 home runs away from tying Álex Rodríguez for the fourth-most all-time, though, again, it’s unclear if he has enough time remaining to do so before retiring. 



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