Albert Pujols required almost five weeks to tie Willie Mays for fifth spot on the vocation grand slam list. It took just five days for the Los Angeles Angels slugger to pass him.
Pujols hit No. 661 in the fifth inning on Friday night against the Texas Rangers to break the bind with Mays, at that point associated again in his next at-bat in the 6-2 triumph.
“I knew that whenever it happens, whether it was going to be this year or next year, it was going to happen,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t thinking about trying to hit one out. It happened tonight and look how perfect it worked out. I not only got one, but two on the night.”
The 40-year-old Pujols now trails just Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).
Pujols said he got a content and email from Mays after he tied the Hall of Famer on Sunday in Colorado. Pujols included that he had not checked his telephone after Friday’s down to perceive the number of complimentary messages he had gotten.
“It is pretty special when you are talking about Willie Mays. What he did on the field is amazing,” Pujols said. “He’s a legend, pretty smart and he knows how to give good advice.”
Pujols had hit just four grand slams this season before posting the 60th multi-HR round of his vocation and first since May 11 a year ago at Baltimore. He got done with three hits on the night.
Pujols passed Mays with a performance drive to left. Pujols sent a 1-2 fastball from Wes Benjamin into the Rangers’ warm up area. Pujols highlighted the hole and did a clench hand siphon as he moved toward third base.
After the Rangers energized to get to inside 3-2, Pujols begun the seventh with No. 662 off Demarcus Evans into the Angels’ warm up area to expand the lead.
“I mean, I know he’s not really a home run hitter,” Benjamin said before laughing. “I threw the one pitch I didn’t want to throw. I wanted a fastball up there. It just kind of yanked into the zone just enough and he was prepared for it.”
Pujols has dove deep to left multiple times in his profession and 362 have accompanied the bases unfilled. He said he is probably going to keep the bat he used to pass Mays and that the ball had been recovered.
Pujols, who has one more season left on his agreement with the Angels after this year, has 108 grand slams at Angel Stadium, which is just three behind the 111 he hit at new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.
Director Joe Maddon said the main thing missing was having fans in the stands to salute Pujols for arriving at the achievement. There was more clamor than expected at the ballpark Friday night, alongside some cheering, yet it was on the grounds that a drive-in show was occurring in a neighboring parking area.
“Obviously there’s a high level of satisfaction, but he missed out on the opportunity to have the adulation that people just screaming from the rafters,” Maddon said. “It’s too bad. That’s another part of all this. That makes things different, but the guys reacted well, Albert typically handled it extremely well.”
The three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star did the vast majority of his long-ball harm during his 11 seasons in St. Louis, where he hit 445 preceding marking with the Angels after the 2011 season.
He had six 40 or more HR seasons with the Cardinals, with his greatest year being 2006 when he hit 49 homers and drove in a profession high 137 runs.
“He is such a good baseball player,” Maddon said. “So yeah, he hits home runs. We’re not seeing it during his youthful days, but this guy has played this game as well as anybody has.”
Benjamin was the 427th diverse pitcher Pujols homered against in his profession, and Evans, making his MLB debut, turned into the 428th two innings later. Just Bonds has homered against more (449).