ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols reached yet another incredible milestone on Sunday, as he became the first player to hit at least 650 homers and 650 doubles in a career.
With a two-run shot off Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy in the sixth inning of a 5-4 win, Pujols became the sixth player to hit 650 homers, joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez (696) and Willie Mays (660). Pujols, who has 653 career doubles, is the only player of that group with more than 650 two-baggers. His doubles total ranks eighth all-time.
"Pretty special," Pujols said. "First and foremost, thank God for allowing me to accomplish that. To be able to have seen players and players in the history of the game -- I think it’s 20,000-plus players that have come through this game -- to be able to be the only one to do that is pretty special.”
Pujols’ homer came at a key time, as the Angels were trailing by two runs and were looking to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Orioles. He jumped on a 3-0 fastball from Bundy, depositing it a projected 400 feet to left, per Statcast. It was only the eighth homer on a 3-0 count from Pujols in his career and his first since 2015.
“I’m happy I was able to do it where it counts, to tie the game to give us a chance to win,” Pujols said. “That’s always huge. It’s pretty special. I get to enjoy it for a little bit, but tomorrow we need to come back here and try to continue and build on this winning streak.”
Pujols, 39, has been on a tear since the All-Star break, hitting .300 (15-for-50) with four homers, three doubles and 17 RBIs in 12 games. He is batting .244/.303/.453 with 17 homers, 14 doubles and 62 RBIs in 83 games this year.
“He’s been remarkable," Halos manager Brad Ausmus said of Pujols’ second half. "Another huge home run to tie the game today. He can still drive in runs. I know people say anyone who has runners in scoring position can drive in runs, but Albert can drive in runs from first and home. That’s the difference for RBI guys."
Pujols’ career home run total was not lost on Matt Thaiss, who hit two homers, including a walk-off solo shot in the ninth inning, as the rookie has four career homers.
“We have 654 combined,” Thaiss said with a laugh. “No, I mean, just watching him hit today, the ball he hit down the right-field line yesterday, it’s just amazing to watch what he can do at the plate. I’m just trying to absorb as much as I can.”