Veteran Major League Baseball star Albert Pujols hit home run No. 596 on Tuesday during the first inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-3 victory over the Oakland A’s.
Hitting in the third slot as the designated hitter for the Angels, Pujols blasted a 1-2 changeup from Jharel Cotton the right-handed starter for Oakland into the bleachers in left-center to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The Angels hit three home runs during just the first two innings. The home run by Pujols was No. 17 in his career versus Oakland, which is the fourth highest total he has against any team in the American League.
Pujols said a good swing is needed to hit home runs, but most important is having a solid quality at bat that makes the pitcher work.
Pujols is attempting to become only the ninth player in major league baseball history to hit 600 career home runs. He currently is four shy of that, while 13 shy of Sammy Sosa’s 609, 17 shy of Jim Thome’s 612 and 35 shy of Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630, the next three players in front of him.
Los Angeles needs home runs as their biggest run producer Mike Trout missed his fourth consecutive game on Tuesday. He was available to pinch-hit, but his manager Mike Scioscia opted to keep him out of the game entirely.
Pujols was happy with how his teammates made good at bats during the game executing a plan the team had prior to the game during their hitter’s meeting.
This season Pujols has started slow as far as a batting average and currently is hitting just .246. However, the veteran has hit 5 home runs and has 25 RBIs.
Pujols started his major league career in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals and played 11 seasons with the Redbirds. He hit 32 or more home runs each season with the Cardinals.
His most home runs in any season were the 49 he hit during 2006. Pujols also had 100 or more RBIs in 10 of 11 seasons with the Cardinals, with the only exception being in 2011 when he had 99 RBIs in just 147 games.
For his career, Pujols has a batting average of .308 with 596 home runs and 1842 RBIs.
Los Angeles is currently tied for second place in the American League West at 17-18 with the Seattle Mariners six games behind the first place Houston Astros.