El toletero de los Cardinales de San Luis, Albert Pujols, conectó el jonrón 696 de su carrera el sábado por la noche contra los Piratas para pasar al cuarto lugar empatado con Alex Rodríguez en la lista de todos los tiempos.

Ahora, solo Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) y Babe Ruth (714) tienen más jonrones que Pujols en el transcurso de su brillante carrera de 22 años en la MLB. Pujols, de 42 años, anunció en los entrenamientos de primavera que esta será la última temporada de su carrera, y se ha mantenido firme en eso, sin importar cuántos jonrones termine conectando.

Pujols, quien tiene 17 jonrones esta temporada para los Cardenales, también amplió su récord de la MLB al batear un jonrón ante 452 lanzadores diferentes. El excachorro Ryan Dempster permitió la mayor cantidad de jonrones de Pujols que cualquier lanzador al ceder ocho.

Antes de esta temporada, Bonds tenía el récord de la MLB de conectar jonrones a 449 lanzadores, pero Pujols lo superó con un final de temporada conmovedor en términos de su producción de poder. Pujols tuvo solo cuatro jonrones durante los primeros tres meses de la temporada, pero encontró su swing en julio (tres jonrones), y nuevamente se parecía al toletero temido que era al principio de su carrera con ocho jonrones en agosto.

Pujols se puso a un jonrón de igualar la marca de 696 de Rodríguez cuando conectó un jonrón emergente de dos carreras para romper un empate sin anotaciones en la octava entrada cuando los Cardenales superaron a los Cachorros el 4 de septiembre. Fue el séptimo como emergente de su carrera y el segundo de esta temporada. El 18 de agosto, Pujols conectó un grand slam como emergente en la derrota de los Rockies por 13-0, el primer jonrón de su carrera.

Ese jonrón 695 también llegó en lo que resultó ser el último turno al bate que tomaría contra los Cachorros, rivales de la División Central de la Liga Nacional, ante los cuales conectó 59 jonrones en su carrera. Además de conectar jonrones contra los 30 equipos, Pujols ha conectado 62 jonrones contra los Astros, 59 contra los Cachorros, 53 contra los Piratas, 48 ??contra los Rojos y 45 contra los Cerveceros.

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