Sunday, October 2, 2022

Albert Pujols hits 702nd home run, adds Babe Ruth at RBI in Cardinals loss to Pirates. CBC Sports

Albert Pujols hit his 702nd career home run and tied Babe Ruth in second place in an all-time RBI on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Pirates took the game 7-5 to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yadier Molina and Pujols, who retired at the end of the season, were honored in a ceremony 46 minutes before their last regular season home game. Pujols called it “awesome” and “a great day”.

“I am really blessed to be back here,” said Pujols, who has 468 homers with the Cardinals. “It means a lot to end my career where it all began.”

Ben Gammel and Brian Reynolds made home for Pittsburgh, which has won four out of six. Reliever Chase Djong (6-2) won for the Pirates, making one run on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. David Bedner made his 19th defense on 23 occasions.

Reynolds skidded for 0-16 with his 27th homer of the season.

“I was really proud of my people, we made a comeback,” said Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton.

Pujols scored a two-run double in the opening innings, and Molina left him with a fly to take a 3–0 lead.

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

Pujols, 42, tied the game for 4 with his 23rd home run of the season in the third inning, a 409-foot drive from Ronci Contreras. Pujol is fourth on the all-time home run list behind Babe Ruth. (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bond (762).

He is now second behind Aaron (2,297) in RBI (2,214) with Ruth.

Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright started their 328th game together. Wainwright (11-12) gave away six runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Yadier Molina, left, of the St. Louis Cardinals, Adam Wainwright (50) and Albert Pujols (5) leave a game during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Scott Kane/Getty Images)

Molina, Pujol and Wainwright were all simultaneously dropped from the game to run as a trio with two outs in the fifth. Wainwright has yet to decide whether he will return next season.

“Great emotional day for me,” Molina said. “Just walking in with Albert, Veno, it was a great moment for baseball.”

Marmol planned it: “We wanted the three of them to move in together. There’s no bad way to go out.”

Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals salutes fans after hitting a single home run during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Scott Kane/Getty Images)

honored with a day

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

The Cardinals, who have already secured their fifth NL Central title in the past 10 years, finished the regular season with 26 wins in their last 34 home games.

Pujol and Molina were presented with gifts from the team, which included a set of golf clubs, a silver plate and an artist’s portrait of each player. The city of St. Louis is also honoring him with a day: October 4 for Molina and October 5 for Pujol.

Both have a combined 41 years in the Major. Former teammates Matt Holiday, Ray Lancord and Jason Isringhausen were present for the ceremony.

Hall of Fame player Rick Hummel served his last home game. Hummel, who covered the Cardinals for the past 51 years for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is retiring after this season.

The 76-year-old Hummel has covered 42 All-Star Games and 35 World Series.

The Pirates’ roster has 11 players under the age of 25. The 28-player team average is 25.8.

Mitch Keller (5-12, 3.92) will open against the Cardinals in the first match of the three-match series in Pittsburgh on Monday. Keller has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 18 out of 21 runs since being taken off the disabled list on May 31. The Cardinals have yet to announce a starter.

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