HOLY. LOUIS — Albert Pujols hit the 698th homer of his career, a two-run slapper that tied the St. Louis Cardinals in their game against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
The Cards ended up winning 6-5.
On the first pitch of his second at-bat, Pujols raced to a Raynel Espinal ground ball that was left in the heart of home plate.
The veteran power hitter sent the pitch 427 feet from home plate for his 19th long pitch of the campaign.
Another highlight was the ninth inning when reliever Ryan Helsley pitched a clean inning. The reliever needed a minimum of nine pitches to register three strikeouts. Kyle Farmer, Jake Fraley and Donovan Solano retired Helsley, who picked up his 18thE saving the season.
Only three hitters are ahead of Pujols in career MLB hits: Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).
With his 2,203 RBI production, the 42-year-old Dominican moved to eleventh for Ruth’s total, second only to Aaron’s 2,297 RBI.
Since July 10, Pujols has exploded for 15 home runs in 47 games, his 22nd season in the Majors. He indicated his intention to retire at the end of this campaign.
The Cardinals have 17 games left on their schedule.
Elsewhere in the National :
Phillies 2-Braves 7
PHI: Kyle Schwarber threw his arms in the loss for the 39th time this season.
ATL: The Braves kept pace with the Mets to remain one game behind the East division leaders.
Cubs 2 – Rockies 1
CHI: Marcus Stroman wins at Wrigley Field for the first time since signing with the club. He was 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in his previous five starts.
COL: The Rockies have lost three of their last four games and are the worst in baseball at 22-48 on the road.
Marlins 4 – Nationals 5
MIA: Jesus Luzardo pitched six innings, allowing two runs. Charles Leblanc was not in formation.
WAS: Joey Meneses homered.
Pirates 3 – Mets 4
PIT: Rookie Oneil Cruz hit his 16th long pitch of the season.
NYM: Power hitter Daniel Vogelbach hit his 17th home run of the season.
Padres 12 – Diamondbacks 3
SD: Brandon Drury had two home runs and three RBI.
ARI: Madison Bumgarner (6-15) had a rough outing, giving up five earned runs in as many innings.
Dodgers 5 – Giants 0
LAD: Dustin May was hitless in five innings before being pulled from the game.
SF: The Giants were limited to two measly hits.