MLB

Albert Pujols hits two home runs, assists Stan Musial for second in total bases

Albert Pujols hits two home runs, assists Stan Musial for second in total bases
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PHOENIX — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit two more home runs Saturday night, boosting his total to 692 and moving him past Stan Musial into second place on the career list for total bases.

The 42-year-old Pujols connected for solo homers in the second and fourth innings against Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner to help St. Louis win 16-7. Pujols nearly hit a third homer, scorching a single off the base of the left field wall in the fifth. He capped his 4-for-4 night with a ground ball single through the left side of the infield in the seventh.

Pujols needs four more home runs to tie Alex Rodriguez for the No. 4 spot all-time.

« Listen to the names that we’re talking about, man, » Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. « It’s unbelievable. »

Pujols could have had five hits, but Marmol elected to pinch hit rookie Nolan Gorman in the ninth. Nobody was cheering louder than Pujols when Gorman singled.

« That’s what you’re supposed to do in baseball, have fun, » Pujols said. « When you don’t have fun, you put too much stress on yourself. It’s a great group of guys here, so it’s pretty awesome. »

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With his first homer of the game, Pujols passed Musial. The future Hall of Famer now sits at 6,143 total career bases; Hank Aaron holds the record with 6,856.

Pujols has been on a roll over the past month, beating .386 with five homers over his past 16 games coming into Saturday.

The 11-time All-Star drew a standing ovation before his first at-bat, and the cheers grew even louder from both Cardinals and Diamondbacks fans as the three-time MVP rounded the bases.

The slugger says this is his last season. Just a few weeks ago, 700 career homers looked out of reach, but the way he’s swinging the bat, it appears very much in play.

« That’s the hard work I put in day in and day out, » Pujols said. « Nothing surprises me. »

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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