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Pujols 1st to hit HRs No. 499, 500 in same game
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Albert Pujols smiled as he explained why he felt the need to apologize to his wife for hitting homer No. 500 so quickly after No. 499.
She had planned to be there in person once he got within one of the milestone.
He didn’t give her the chance.
Pujols became the first major leaguer to get his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, connecting twice Tuesday night and driving in five runs in the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. He’s the 26th player in big league history to reach 500.
“I went and made a phone call and I called her, and she was doing her nails. And everybody in the salon, I guess, was telling her, ‘Congratulations!’ And she was like, ‘Did you just hit your 500th?’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry,’” Pujols said with a laugh.
“She would have loved to be here with my kids and my family. She drives me every day to try to be a better person, a better player,” he added. “I would have loved to share this moment with her here.”
Hitting like the Pujols of old, the three-time NL MVP delivered a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run drive in the fifth, both off Taylor Jordan (0-3).
“I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now,” Pujols said.
He also hit his 400th homer at Nationals Park.
“I admire his ability and the way he goes about playing the game, and I have for some time,” said Washington manager Matt Williams, who played against Pujols. “I just wish he’d do it against somebody else.”
About three months past his 34th birthday, Pujols is the third-youngest to get to 500; Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were 32.
Pujols has eight homers in the past 13 games and leads the Angels with 19 RBIs.
“That’s the Albert I’m used to seeing,” Angels outfielder Mike Trout said.
The 500th homer went to left-center field on an 89 mph pitch with the count at 1-2. The ball was grabbed - and later given to Pujols - by a man who identified himself as Thomas Sherrill, a 29-year-old Air Force staff sergeant from Pomona, Calif.
“That pitch was supposed to be low and away,” Jordan said, “and I guess I tried too hard to get it there.”
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