Cardinals’ Albert Pujols crushes grand slam vs. Rockies for career home run No. 690

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Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols launched the 690th home run of his career on Thursday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies (GameTracker). Pujols’ blast, a pinch-hit grand slam, occurred in the third inning and put St. Louis up by a 10-0 mark.

Take a look at Pujols’ home run in all its moving glory:

According to Statcast, Pujols’ home run had an exit velocity of 105.1 mph and traveled some 374 feet. In addition to being the 16th of his career, it’s the third pinch-hit grand slam to be hit within the first three innings of a game, according to MLB’s Paul Casella. Pujols was subbed in for Brendan Donovan as a means of gaining the platoon advantage versus left-hander Austin Gomber, a former Cardinal who was sent to Colorado as part of the Nolan Arenado trade.

Pujols, 42 years old, entered Thursday hitting .251/.330/.460 (126 OPS+) with 10 home runs and 30 runs batted in over the course of his first 67 games this year. He’s played particularly well as of late, hitting .395/.452/.790 with four home runs in 14 second-half games.

Pujols has announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. That gives him precious little time if he’s to become the fourth player to ever clear the 700-homer threshold. Still, Pujols does have a chance to tie or exceed Alex Rodriguez’s 696 home runs for the fourth-most all-time.

The Cardinals came into play on Thursday with a 65-51 record on the year, putting them up three games on the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. Right-handed starter Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina are also expected to retire at the conclusion of the season, ending an era in Cardinals baseball history.

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