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Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols made history Tuesday night by joining the 500 home run club. The Angles went on to win to beat the Washington Nationals 7-2.
Pujols entered Tuesday night’s game with 498 home runs. He had a three-run homer in the first inning for No. 499. In the fifth inning, he had a two-run home run which gave him 500 career homeruns. Pujols is the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th home runs in the same game, according to the Associated Press. He is the 26th player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs.
"It tastes better with a win," Pujols said. "I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now. So my goal was just to prepare myself every day to try to help this organization win."
He went on to add, "To have more than 19,000 players who wore a big league uniform and to have only 26 players to do this, it's pretty special. I was pretty emotional running the bases.”
Pujols, 34, is the third-youngest player to have 500 home runs. Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were 32 when they got 500 home runs.
Pujols seems to be back in form after struggling the last couple of years. In 2012 he had 30 homeruns and 105 RBIs. Last year he hit.258 with just 17 home runs and 64 RBIs. This year Pujols has eight home runs and 19 RBIs, which lead the team, according to ESPN.
Pujols is the 12th player to have 500 career home runs, 500 doubles, and 1,500 RBIs. Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez and Rodriguez are the other players, USA Today notes.
Pujols is the first player to reach 500 home runs since Gary Sheffield did it in 2009.