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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Erick Aybar: Albert Pujols called 500th home run before game

Albert Pujols home runAlbert Pujols did something on Tuesday night that has never been done before in Major League Baseball history. He became the 26th player ever to hit 500 home runs in his career, but the Los Angeles Angels slugger is the only hitter to ever homer twice in one game to get to 500. And to make the feat even more impressive, Pujols supposedly called his shots.

Angels shortstop Erick Aybar said Pujols told his teammates before the game that Tuesday would be the night.

“He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs,” Aybar told reporters, via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Mike Trout heard it, too.

“If Albert tells you something, he’s going to do it,” Trout said.

After an injury-plagued 2013 season, Pujols is locked in. He leads the majors with eight home runs and is tied for second in the American League with 19 RBI. His swing feels so good right now that he even told his wife she might want to travel to Washington in addition to New York to watch his pursuit of 500. As it turned out, Pujols is so dialed in that his wife missed the milestone.

“You don’t see a 500th homer every night,” the 34-year-old said. “It’s been a great career. I thank the Lord for giving me the power and strength to play this game. The last couple years have been really tough, but I feel I’m getting my swing right where I want to be.”

Hitting 500 home runs is great. Angels fans should be even more excited about the fact that Pujols is swinging so well. If LA wants to contend for a title this season, they will need their best hitter to earn his paycheck.

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