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Albert credits wife's text with helping him focus

Relieved Angels slugger is honored to join elite club
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The milestone Albert Pujols achieved Saturday night at Angel Stadium has only been accomplished eight other times in Major League Baseball.

Pujols became the ninth member of the 600-homer club with a grand slam off Ervin Santana during the fourth inning of the Angels' 7-2 win over Minnesota.

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ANAHEIM -- The milestone Albert Pujols achieved Saturday night at Angel Stadium has only been accomplished eight other times in Major League Baseball.

Pujols became the ninth member of the 600-homer club with a grand slam off Ervin Santana during the fourth inning of the Angels' 7-2 win over Minnesota.

View Full Game Coverage

"To be able to to do it front of the fans, my family is pretty special," he said.

:: Albert Pujols 600-HR club coverage ::

The Halos' slugger joins Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612) and Sammy Sosa (609) as the only set of players to ever hit as many homers in the Major Leagues.

Pujols' 600th a grand slam: Halo, history!

Pujols said he felt relieved after finally reaching the achievement, as he had been pressing in recent at-bats with the milestone just one connection away.

He also credited his wife, Deidre, who texted him during the game and told him to treat it like any other at-bat.

"Before I hit the home run, she told me, 'You need to stay back and just look for a pitch to hit!'" he said. "I'm glad that I listened to her."

When he stepped up to bat in a two-out, bases-loaded situation on the cusp of No. 600, the tension perhaps would have been felt ten-fold. But Pujols said he was as relaxed as he had been since hitting No. 599 against Atlanta on May 31; he was simply trying to get a good pitch to hit and knock a base hit.

Video: MIN@LAA: Pujols launches his 600th career homer

"Really in that at-bat, I was really calm," he said. "I didn't know I was going to hit it out, but I knew I was going to have a good at-bat, because it was a different feeling than the first two at-bats that I had, and I was able to put a good swing on that slider."

Video: MIN@LAA: Pujols meets fan who caught 600th HR ball

:: 600-HOME RUN CLUB ::

At 37 years and 138 days old, Pujols is the fourth-youngest to hit 600 career home runs. He could very well see his name rise higher in the all-time ranks, but he insists he doesn't concern himself with numbers.

"I'm just glad to be on that list," he said. "It's a pretty special feeling. You look at all the players that come through the league, to play so long to be No. 9 -- it's pretty special.

"Don't get me wrong; it's an honor and privilege to be named in the same list and same sentence with those guys, but I really try to stay focused on my goal, and that's to go and be the best teammate I can be. And hopefully, help this organization to win. That's the truth."

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols