Albert Pujols continues to hit towering home runs and in doing so records continue to fall.
The veteran slugger for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday slugged a three-run homer giving him 610 for his career, and snapping a eighth-place tie for career home runs with Sammy Sosa, while becoming the all-time home run leader in Major League Baseball for players born outside the United States.
The home run Pujols hit Tuesday to set the record was the 19th of the season for the Angels’ slugger.
Following the game, Pujols called the home run special, saying all the greats that have played before him from Latin America, Dominica Republic, Colombia, Mexico and he was still able to set the standard. He called it humbling.
Pujols hit the record breaking home run during the seventh inning off Nick Gardewine, who was debuting in the major leagues. The three runs Pujols drove in on the home run were all unearned due to an error committed by Elvis Andrus at shortstop.
As impressive as the power numbers are Pujols is putting up, the Angels’ players and management are equally impressed with the slugger’s work ethic.
Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols has been able to accomplish so much and at some point the veteran will reflect upon it all as he passes great names on the career home run list each time he hits another one out of the park.
However, said Scioscia, Pujols is only consumed with doing all he can to help the Angles win games. The Angels’ manager said his veteran slugger takes great pride in getting ready every day and playing hard each time he steps onto the field.
Pujols, said Scioscia understands the numbers, but he never chases any of them, he only plays and because of that he is so special.
Pujols, who is 37 and playing in his 16th year in the majors, has 19 home runs and 79 RBIs this season, but is batting just .231. For his career, he is a .305 hitter, with 610 home runs and 1896 RBIs.
The Angels are trying to stay alive in the American League wildcard race as they trail the Minnesota Twins by just a half game for the second and final wildcard berth with 36 regular season games left to play.