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Albert Pujols Joins the 500 Home Run Club

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Pujols hit two home runs in Washington to become the 26th player with at least 500 home runs.

The days where one might confuse Albert Pujols for a machine might be behind us, but he is reminding us this season why he is known as The Machine. Last night, Pujols became the 26th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 career home runs when he blasted two for the Los Angeles Angels against the Washington Nationals last night. 

Pujols entered the night with 498 home runs and had 500 by the fifth inning. These were no-doubters off the bat, the classic towering Pujols home runs we've been used to over his 14-year career. Pujols received a standing ovation from the visiting crowd at Nationals Park (where he also hit his 400th home run), one that warranted a well-deserved curtain call.

Pujols' resurgence has been one of the great storylines of the young 2014 season. He still isn't the player he once was (injuries have really slowed him down), but he is having a great bounce-back year. Through 20 games, Pujols is hitting .274 with a major league-leading eight home runs and 18 RBI. Pujols is slugging .619. While a lot of his numbers are below his career averages, he's looking like the player the Angels thought they were getting. The power is there, and he is making pitchers pay for mistakes.

Albert Pujols Joins the 500 Home Run Club

Pujols couldn't have picked a better time to get hot, either. Josh Hamilton started the season hot but tore a ligament in his thumb on a slide into first base. Hamilton's production had to be replaced, and Pujols has really stepped up. Over the past seven days, Pujols is hitting .360 with four home runs and 10 RBI. The tricky part for Albert has been staying healthy, so he still needs to stay on the field himself. But Pujols is at least producing at a high level again when he is on the field, and that's a welcome sight for fans of the Angels and the game alike. It's fun watching Pujols rake like this again.

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