Albert Pujols Named National League’s ‘Comeback Player of the Year’

Albert Pujols is this year’s Comeback King…

The 42-year-old Dominican slugger for the St. Louis Cardinals has won the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

Albert PujolsPujols came back to St. Louis for his farewell season and posted his biggest numbers in years at the age of 42. The three-time MLB MVP compiled an .895 OPS for the NL Central champions and became the fourth Major League Baseball player to reach 700 career home runs.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was the American League recipient.

The winners were chosen in voting by the 30 team beat reporters at MLB.com.

Pujols batted .270 with 24 homers and 68 RBIs in 109 games for the Cardinals after getting released by the Los Angeles Angels in May 2021 and finishing last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His OPS was his highest since his last season with the Cardinals in 2011 (.906) before joining the Angels, and his home runs were his most since hitting 31 in 2016 for the Angels.

The 11-time MLB All-Star hit 18 home runs in the second half and retired after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs by Philadelphia in the wild-card round.

He finished his career fourth in major league annals in home runs (703), second in RBIs (2,218) and total bases (6,211) and ninth in hits (3,384).

Carlos Beltran Among 14 Newcomers on MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Carlos Beltran is in the running for a special place in Major League Baseball history…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican former professional baseball player is among 14 newcomers on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America‘s MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

Carlos BeltranBeltran played as an outfielder from 1998 to 2017 for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

Beltrán was the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 1999 while with the Royals. He was named to nine MLB All-Star Games and won three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards.

Beltrán was the fifth player to reach both 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases and just the fourth switch hitter with 400 home runs. He has the highest success rate in stealing bases (88.3%) of any major league player with 300 or more career attempts. He also joined the 30–30 club in 2004. In 2013, Beltrán was named the recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. He retired after the 2017 season, winning a World Series title with the Astros.

Other players appearing on the ballot for the first time include John Lackey, Jered Weaver, R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodríguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain. They’re joined by Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA announced.

Holdovers include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was on 205 ballots (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).

Voters denied several stars tainted by steroids and scandal.

Barry Bonds (260 votes, 66%), Roger Clemens (257, 65.2%) and Curt Schilling (231, 58.6%) were dropped after their 10th appearances on the ballot last year and are among eight players who will appear on the ballot of the Hall’s contemporary baseball era committee, which meets December 4 in San Diego ahead of baseball’s winter meetings.

Other holdovers on the BBWAA ballot include Andruw Jones (163 votes last year, 41.1%), Gary Sheffield (160, 40.6%), Alex Rodriguez (135, 34.3%), Jeff Kent (129, 32.7%), Manny Ramirez (114, 28.9%), Omar Vizquel (94, 23.9%), Andy Pettitte (42, 10.7%), Jimmy Rollins (37, 9.4%), Bobby Abreu (34, 8.6%), Mark Buehrle (23, 5.8%) and Torii Hunter (21, 5.3%).

Kent, who received his highest percentage last year, will appear on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Any players elected will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 23 along with anyone elected by the contemporary baseball era committee.

A-Rod, a three-time MLB MVP and 14-time MLB All-Star who hit 696 home runs, was suspended for the 2014 season for violating MLB’s drug policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name was alleged to have appeared on a list of players who tested positive during 2003 survey testing.

Yordan Alvarez Among This Year’s American League MVP Finalists

Yordan Alvarez is still in the running…

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and left fielder for the Houston Astros has been named a finalist for this year’s Major League Baseball’s American League MVP honor.

Yordan AlvarezAlvarez, who hit a home run in Game 6 of the World Series to give the Astros the trophy, will face off against Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees) and Shohei Ohtani (RHP/DH, Los Angeles Angels)

From both the American League and National League, 24 players and managers were shortlisted as finalists for four different awards as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Manny Machado (3B, San Diego Padres) has been named a finalist in the National League MVP race. He’ll face off against Paul Goldschmidt (1B, St. Louis Cardinals) and Nolan Arenado (3B, St. Louis Cardinals).

Sandy Alcantara (RHP, Miami Marlins) and Julio Urías (LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers) are up for the National League Cy Young 2022 Awards alongside Max Fried (LHP, Atlanta Braves).

The American League Rookie of the Year finalists include Julio Rodríguez, (CF, Seattle Mariners), who is competing against

Steven Kwan (LF, Cleveland Guardians) and (Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles) for the title.

The winners for Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year will be announced next week, with one category going live each day on the MLB Network beginning at 6:00 pm ET.

Monday, Nov. 14: Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year
Tuesday, Nov. 15: Managers of the Year
Wednesday, Nov. 16: Cy Young Awards
Thursday, Nov. 17: MVP Awards

Here’s a look at all the candidates from each league:

AL Rookie of the Year 2022 Finalists:
Steven Kwan, LF, Cleveland Guardians
Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles
Julio Rodríguez, CF, Seattle Mariners

NL Rookie of the Year 2022 Finalists:
Brendan Donovan, UTIL, St. Louis Cardinals
Michael Harris II, CF, Atlanta Braves
Spencer Strider, RHP, Atlanta Braves

AL Manager of the Year 2022 Finalists:
Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians
Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles
Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners 

NL Manager of the Year 2022 Finalists:
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
Buck Showalter, New York Mets
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves

AL Cy Young 2022 Finalists:
Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Alek Manoah, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Justin Verlander, RHP, Houston Astros 

NL Cy Young 2022 Finalists:
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Miami Marlins
Max Fried, LHP, Atlanta Braves
Julio Urías, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers 

AL MVP 2022 Finalists:
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Los Angeles Angels
Yordan Alvarez, DH/LF, Houston Astros

NL MVP 2022 Finalists:
Manny Machado, 3B, San Diego Padres
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
Nolan Arenado, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals

Yordan Alvarez Leads Houston Astros to World Series Title After Hitting Massive Go-Ahead Home Run

With a massive swing, Yordan Alvarez helped propel the Houston Astros to a second World Series title.

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and left fielder hit a clutch late-inning home run to help the Astros take Game 6 from the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night by a 4-1 margin.

Yordan AlvarezIn the process Alvarez helped secure Houston’s second title in the last six years.

Alvarez came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with runners on first and third and one out in the inning. The Phillies, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the frame on a Kyle Schwarber home run, elected to replace right-handed starter Zack Wheeler with left-handed reliever José Alvarado. Unfortunately for Phillies manager Rob Thomson and crew, that decision did not pay off.

Alvarado fell behind 2-1 to Alvarez before throwing a 99 mph sinker that caught far too much of the plate. Alvarez made Alvarado pay for the mistake, too, crushing a home run to dead center that left his bat traveling at 112.5 mph and carried some 450 feet, according to Statcast. The home run gave the Astros a 3-1 lead with just nine outs separating them from another title.

The Astros’ win expectancy swung from 50.5 percent prior to the home run to 84.3 percent afterward, per FanGraphs‘ calculations

Alvarez had a big postseason in one respect, as he showed a knack for delivering go-ahead home runs. According to MLB.com‘s Sarah Langs‘ research, he became the only player in Major League Baseball history to record three go-ahead home runs in the sixth inning or later of a postseason game. To be clear: that’s on a career level, yet Alvarez did it all in this postseason alone.

Pedro Grifol Lands First MLB Manager Job with Chicago White Sox

Pedro Grifol is headed to The Windy City for his first Major League Baseball manager job…

The 52-year-old Cuban American former-professional-baseball-player-turned-coach has been named the new manager of the Chicago White Sox.

Pedro Grifol,Grifol has been brought in to help restore the swagger that disappeared during a disappointing season this year.

“It’s essential,” general manager Rick Hahn said.

The White Sox made it official on Thursday, announcing Grifol is taking over for Hall of Famer Tony La Russa. Grifol had agreed to take the job earlier in the week.

Hahn also said pitching coach Ethan Katz and bullpen coach Curt Hasler are being retained. The White Sox hired former Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo as bench coach.

Grifol brings experience in a variety of coaching and scouting roles at the major and minor league levels. He spent the past three seasons as the Kansas City Royals‘ bench coach. And now, he has his first managing job in the majors.

“This is an extremely talented ballclub,” Grifol said. “And it was a really difficult club to prepare for because if the energy was high, they can beat anybody in the game. And if the energy wasn’t, we were able to have some success against them. My job — and my staff’s job — is gonna be to make sure that that energy is high every night and we’re prepared to win a ballgame.”

The White Sox came into the season with soaring expectations coming off back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history. Instead, they were one of baseball’s biggest disappointments.

They went from running away with the division to finishing second in the AL Central at 81-81 and missing the postseason. La Russa missed the final 34 games because of health problems and announced he would not return, ending a disappointing two-year run with the franchise that gave him his first job as a big league skipper.

It’s now up to Grifol to help restore the vibe the White Sox had following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. That team led by AL MVP José Abreu and young stars like Tim Anderson gave Chicago its first playoff appearance since 2008.

The White Sox then fired manager Rick Renteria and made a surprising choice to replace him. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf lured his longtime friend La Russa out of retirement even though he hadn’t filled out a lineup card since leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship.

“We were extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish in the early parts of this rebuild and the position that we were in a few years back,” Hahn said. “Even though we decided that we had to make a change after 2020, I think it was pretty clear that the arrow was pointing up for us. And thus far, what we’ve been able to show for that is one division title and a first-round exit. That’s not who we envisioned ourselves being, and part of that disappointment I think permeated the way the clubhouse was viewed — and viewed itself.”

The White Sox were hit hard by injuries, with Anderson and sluggers Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert missing significant time because of injuries.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoán Moncada also had health issues, and they underperformed when they were on the field.

There were embarrassing breakdowns on the bases. The defense was a problem, and an unbalanced lineup that was heavy with right-handed hitters had issues. Even so, the White Sox believe they have the core to compete, that their window isn’t shut.

Hahn said an initial list of candidates for the managing job swelled from about 22 or 24 to 30. Grifol was the second of eight to get first-round interviews before the list was whittled down.

The finalists met in Arizona with Hahn, Reinsdorf and executive vice president Ken Williams.

Grifol, a former minor league catcher, spent the past 10 seasons in a variety of coaching roles with Kansas City under former managers Ned Yost and Mike Matheny. He was part of teams that captured back-to-back pennants and won the World Series in 2015. He also worked for the Seattle Mariners for 13 years as a coach, scout and manager.

Grifol said getting the call from the White Sox that the job was his was “extremely emotional.”

“I’ve been in this game for a long time,” he said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was manage a baseball team. It didn’t matter if it was the minor leagues or the big leagues, I wanted to manage. This game has a tendency to kind of grab you and take you other places, and if you don’t check yourself, you’re gonna end up somewhere where your passion doesn’t sit. That’s where I was.”

Cristian Javier Teams with Houston Astros Relievers for Historic World Series No-Hitter

Cristian Javier has earned a place in World Series history…

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher teamed up with Houston Astros relievers Bryan AbreuRafael Montero and Ryan Pressly in completing the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, using his devastating fastball to vex a helpless Philadelphia Phillies lineup through the first six innings of what became a 5-0 Astros victory in Game 4 on Wednesday.

Cristian JavierThe Astros were coming off a difficult loss and needed Javier to rescue them from an overwhelming World Series deficit, but Javier’s parents Trinidad and Cecilio tried to strike an optimistic, supportive tone.

They proved to be prophetic.

“Let’s try to stay positive,” Javier recalled hearing from his mother and father. “God willing, you’ll throw a no-hitter.”

The win tied the Series at two games apiece and placed Javier in exceedingly rare company, joining former New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen — author of a perfect game in 1956 — as the only pitchers in World Series history to finish an outing with no hits allowed in six or more innings.

“This is the best gift I could have ever given my family, my parents,” Javier said in Spanish. “To me, it’s even more special knowing that they were able to see that in person.”

Javier’s start was a reenactment of the combined no-hitter he played a key role in against the New York Yankees on June 25, making Javier the first pitcher to start multiple combined no-hitters within a career, let alone the same season. He set the tone for what became the third no-hitter of any kind in the 119 years that Major League Baseball has staged the postseason, and the second — along with Roy Halladay‘s in the 2010 National League Division Series, against a Cincinnati Reds team managed by current Astros manager Dusty Baker — that took place at Citizens Bank Park.

“That’s what’s strange about life,” Baker said of finally getting on the right side of a postseason no-hitter. “I remember being on the other end of that. It was the seventh inning and it seemed like it was the second inning, and I looked up on the board and it’s the seventh inning already. Then you’re trying not to be no-hit and then you’re trying to win the ballgame and — yeah, that’s pretty remarkable.”

Javier himself is remarkable. He was signed for $10,000 seven years ago from La Victoria, a small town within Santo Domingo known mostly for the notorious prison that shares its name. He was nearing his 18th birthday then, old in an international market where prospects agree to deals at 12 and 13 years old, and he threw only in the mid-80s. But his fastball was already extremely difficult to hit. As he got stronger, his velocity continued to increase. He became the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2019, established himself as a dynamic weapon — in the rotation or out of the bullpen — in 2020 and 2021, and reached a new level in 2022, posting a 2.54 ERA in 148⅔ regular-season innings.

As the year went on, Javier only got better.

Dating back to September 14, the right-hander has thrown at least five scoreless innings and allowed no more than two hits in six consecutive starts. He is now the first pitcher in postseason history with at least five innings and no more than one hit allowed in back-to-back starts.

“Just going into today’s game, we had so much confidence in him,” Astros center fielder Chas McCormick said. “Even coaches, I had a feeling — Javier’s going to shove today. And he’s been shoving.”

Javier struck out nine batters and issued just two walks through the first six innings. At the start of the fourth, he began a stretch of five consecutive strikeouts. In the sixth, the pitcher with the lowest groundball rate in the majors during the regular season — among those who compiled at least 140 innings — benefitted from three consecutive groundouts. At that point, Javier became the first pitcher to reach six no-hit innings in the World Series since Jerry Koosman in 1969.

Javier did it with his four-seam fastball. He threw it 72% of the time, the highest percentage of his major league career, and recorded 14 of his 18 outs — including two-thirds of his strikeouts — with that pitch. He also got 27 foul balls off it, the most of any pitcher on a singular pitch in a game this season, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. It was a sign that the Phillies were consistently late, the main characteristic Astros co-pitching coach Joshua Miller looks for in Javier.

“It’s a good fastball,” Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber said. “He’s got good extension, good ride, things like that. When it says ’92’ up on the board, it’s playing a little bit harder than that.”

There have been 18 combined no-hitters throughout major league history, but none have come particularly close to occurring in the postseason. The only other one that extended through seven innings was done by the Atlanta Braves, against these Astros, in Game 3 of last year’s World Series. Javier, Abreu, Montero, Pressly and Astros catcher Christian Vazquez, who filled in for Martin Maldonado largely because of how well he works with Javier, all posed with the baseball on the field postgame. The National Baseball Hall of Fame preserved one of the baseballs Javier pitched with and got it signed by all five players, also keeping a rosin bag and John Smoltz‘s scoresheet.

“It’s a very special day for us,” Vazquez said.

Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez Launches Go-Ahead, Two-Run Homer to Lead Team to Victory Over Seattle Mariners

Yordan Alvarez has done it again…

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and left fielder hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning off Seattle Mariners ace Luis Castillo that lifted the Houston Astros over the Mariners 4-2 on Thursday for a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.

Yordan Alvarez,Alvarez was the Game 1 hero with his gut-punch, three-run shot off reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the Astros an 8-7 win in a game in which they had trailed by four.

With Thursday’s home run, Alvarez became the first player in Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason history to hit multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was trailing, and both of his came in his past two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Castillo, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds near the trade deadline and coming off 7⅓ innings of shutout ball against Toronto Blue Jays in the wild-card round, gave up an early home run to Kyle Tucker but little else as he took a 2-1 lead into the sixth.

But with two outs, Jeremy Peña singled on a blooper that fell in between second baseman Adam Frazier and center fielder Julio Rodríguez. Castillo bent down and slapped his legs in disappointment as he watched the ball drop in shallow center.

That brought up Alvarez, who hit a 98 mph pitch tailing away to the opposite field, into the short porch in left to put the Astros on top 3-2.

Alvarez, who had 37 homers in the regular season, trotted around the bases as cameras panned to his Cuban parents, who are watching their first postseason series after arriving in Houston in August. The lefty pointed to them as he reached the plate before reenacting the powerful swing that has the Astros one win away from their sixth straight AL Championship Series.

There were two outs and a runner on first in the eighth when Seattle had surely seen enough of Alvarez leaving the yard. The Mariners intentionally walked him and Alex Bregman made them pay, adding some insurance when he singled to make it 4-2.

Houston starter Framber Valdez had a solid start, allowing four hits and two runs in 5⅔ innings. He had a different look than he did in his last postseason appearance after he and fellow pitcher Luis Garcia both got hair extensions this season.

Hector Neris earned the win after getting the last out of the sixth inning to escape a bases-loaded jam. Bryan Abreu got the first two outs of the seventh before Rafael Montero came in and threw 1⅓ scoreless innings.

Ryan Pressly walked the leadoff batter in the ninth before J.P. Crawford lined into a double play. Rodríguez doubled after that, but Pressly struck out Ty France for the save. The Astros won despite issuing seven walks overall.

The Mariners will head back to Seattle for Game 3 on Saturday in a huge hole in the best-of-five series as they host their first playoff game in 21 years.

Albert Pujols Hits 702nd Career Home Run

Albert Pujols smacking his way closer to Babe Ruth numbers…

The 42-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball player and designated hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals hit his 702nd career home run in the third inning of Sunday’s 7-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in St. Louis.

Albert Pujols

Pujols drove an 0-1 pitch from Roansy Contreras deep to center for a solo shot.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762). The slugger has 23 homers in what he says will be his final season.

Pujols hit a two-run double in the first inning. He has 2,214 career RBIs, which ranks second all time behind Aaron’s 2,297; Ruth unofficially drove in 2,214 runs as well but many were not counted because the statistic was not recognized by baseball until 1920.

“He continues to just wow everybody,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “That was no different.”

Pujols and catcher Yadier Molina, who also is retiring, were honored in a 46-minute ceremony before their final regular-season home game.

The pair was given gifts from the team, including a set of golf clubs, a silver plate and one-of-a-kind artist drawings of each player. The two have a combined 41 years in the majors. Former teammates Matt Holliday, Ray Lankford and Jason Isringhausen were present for the ceremony.

Pujols called it “pretty awesome” and “a great day.”

“I’m really blessed to be back here,” said Pujols, who has 468 homers with the Cardinals. “To finish my career where everything started, it means a lot.”

Sunday marked the last game Adam Wainwright, Pujols and Molina will appear together as Cardinals teammates. The trio had its first game together on September 11, 2005. According to the Elias Sports Bureau research, it’s the first trio in Major League Baseball history to have its first game and final game together be more than 6,000 days apart.

Molina, Pujols and Wainwright were all removed from the game together so they could walk off as a trio with two outs in the fifth. Wainwright (11-12), who allowed six runs on six hits over 4⅔ innings, has yet to decide if he will come back next season.

“Great emotional day for me,” Molina said. “Just to walk with Albert, Waino, it was a great moment for baseball.”

Marmol planned it: “We wanted all three of them to walk off together. Not a bad way to go out.”

Pujols began his career with St. Louis in 2001 and left for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. He signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals on March 28.

The Cardinals, who have clinched their fifth National League Central title in the past 10 years, closed the home portion of their regular season schedule with 26 wins in their last 34 games at Busch Stadium.

Houston Astros’ Framber Valdez Sets MLB Single-Season Record with 25th Straight Quality Start

Framber Valdez has earned his place in Major League Baseball history…

The 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros set a major league single-season record with his 25th straight quality start in the Astros’ 11-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Framber Valdez Valdez’s streak is tied for the third-longest all time across multiple seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Valdez (16-5) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings to pass Jacob deGrom (24 in 2018) for the most consecutive quality starts in a single season in MLB history. Valdez, who threw his first career shutout in his last start, is 15-4 during his streak, which began April 25.

“It’s one of those things that just goes down on your resume, and to be able to have a record like that does mean a lot for me,” he said through a translator.

Valdez’s career-high 16 wins rank second in the American League behind teammate Justin Verlander (17) and his 2.57 ERA is sixth.

Manager Dusty Baker raved about the consistency Valdez has brought to the team this season.

“That’s a remarkable streak,” Baker said. “There have been some great pitchers that he surpassed by breaking this record and I’m just glad that he accomplished it and we won the ballgame.”

Cardinals Slugger Albert Pujols Near ‘700 Club’ with 698th Home Run

Albert Pujols inching closer to joining the MLB’s 700 club…

The 42-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the St. Louis Cardinal hit his 698th career home run on Friday night in a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Albert PujolsWith one out in the sixth inning, Pujols swung at the first pitch from reliever Raynel Espinal, an 84 mph slider, and launched a 427-foot shot out to left field.

The crowd was already on its feet in anticipation, and Pujols rounded the bases to a tremendous cheer.

Pujols is fourth on the all-time list, trailing only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

The homer, which had an exit velocity of 106.3 mph, was Pujols’ 19th of the season, the second-most in a season for a player 42 years or older. He has 12 home runs since August 10, one behind Aaron Judge and Eugenio Suarez for the most in Major League Baseball over that span.

The two-run shot tied the score at 4-4 and gave Pujols a six-game RBI streak, his longest since 2017. He upped his career total to 2,203 RBIs, moving him within 11 of Ruth for second all time, behind Aaron’s 2,297.