PHOENIX — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit two more home runs Saturday night, taking his total to 692 and propelling him past Stan Musial to second on the career list for total bases.
The 42-year-old Pujols hit solo homers in the second and fourth innings against Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner to help St. Louis win 16-7. Pujols nearly hit a third homer and scorched a single from the base of the left field wall in the fifth. He capped his 4-for-4 night with a groundball single through the left side of the infield in the seventh.
Pujols needs four more homers to tie Alex Rodriguez for fourth all-time.
“Listen to the names we’re talking about, man,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It’s incredible.”
Pujols could have had five hits, but Marmol chose to pinch hit rookie Nolan Gorman in the ninth. No one cheered louder than Pujols as Gorman singled himself out.
“That’s what you’re supposed to do in baseball, have fun,” Pujols said. “If you’re not having fun, you’re stressing yourself out too much. There’s a great group of guys here, so it’s pretty awesome.”
With his first homer of the game, Pujols passed Musial. The future Hall of Famer now has a total of 6,143 career bases; Hank Aaron holds the record with 6,856.
Pujols has been on track over the past month, hitting .386 with five homers in his last 16 games, which come Saturday.
The 11-time All-Star received a standing ovation before his first at-bat, and the cheers grew even louder from both Cardinals and Diamondbacks fans as the three-time MVP circled bases.
The slugger says this is his last season. Just a few weeks ago, 700 career homers looked out of reach, but the way he swings the bat seems very much in the game.
“It’s the hard work I put in day in, day out,” said Pujols. “Nothing surprises me.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34432650/albert-pujols-hits-two-home-runs-passes-stan-musial-second-total-bases Albert Pujols hits two home runs, passes Stan Musial for second in total bases