ANAHEIM -- Jose Pujols singled to center field in the sixth inning of the Angels' 2-1 loss against the Yankees on Sunday, putting him four hits from 3,000 for his career.
Reaching the milestone will tie Pujols with Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente for 31st on the all-time list..
Pujols' 2,996th hit moved Justin Upton from first to third with one out, and Carsten Sabathia's wild pitch to Andrelton Simmons allowed Upton to score and cut the Yankees' lead to 2-1.
The Angels' slugger is poised to become just the fourth player in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits and 600 homers, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
He will also become the fifth player to attain 3,000 hits, 450 homers and 600 doubles. The four current members of that club are Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Adrian Beltre and Stan Musial.
"Albert is getting comfortable in the batter's box again," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's had some good swings, he's just missed some pitches. This afternoon, he hit that ball as hard as a person could, to the wall, and that's a good sign."
In the eighth inning, Pujols drove a ball to the wall in left-center that would have given the Angels a 3-2 lead had it gone out, but it fell just short and was caught by a falling Brett Gardner.
"Tonight, we were that close," Scioscia said. "Albert, he killed that ball, it just didn't get up enough."
Pujols came into Sunday batting .248/.268/.431 with five homers and three walks over 112 plate appearances.