Albert Pujols took another stride toward the Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday night as he hit his 600th career home run in the Angels’ 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. It was a grand slammer, too, in the bottom of the fourth that gave Pujols’ historic homer some extra spice.
He’s only the ninth player in major league history to reach that milestone, and two of them – Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa – have had their records somewhat tainted by allegations of steroid use.
The win improved the Angels’ record to 29-30, and kept them in second place in the American League West.
Pujols’ homer to left center one of three round-trippers that the Angels hit off former teammate Ervin Santana, who came into the game with a 7-2 record and a 1.72 ERA. The Halos lit him up for seven hits and seven runs in four innings. He struck out two batters and walked three.
Angel starter Matt Shoemaker (5-3) had a much better night, working 6.1 innings and giving up five hits and two runs. He walked three and struck out five. He was touched for one home run.
In addition to Pujols’s blast, the other Angel homers were hit by Andrelton Simmons (his sixth of the season) and Kole Calhoun (his eighth). Overall, the Angels had 12 hits, and for players – Calhoun, Yunel Escobar and Martin Maldonado had two hits.
The four-game series with the Twins will wrap up Sunday with Ricky Nolasco (2-5) getting the start for the Orange County team.