Angels' Albert Pujols eclipses 3000 hits, passes Pirates legend Roberto Clemente

Angels' Albert Pujols eclipses 3000 hits, passes Pirates legend Roberto Clemente

Angels' Albert Pujols eclipses 3000 hits, passes Pirates legend Roberto Clemente

Angels star Albert Pujols joined the 3,000-hit club Friday night on the road in Seattle, spraying a single to right field in the fifth inning.

Meanwhile, roughly 2,300 miles south of Seattle, four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers combined to no-hit the San Diego Padres in Monterrey, Mexico, as part of MLB's Mexico Series.

Quality newspaper work, that is.

Pujols signed with the Angels in 2012, when their general manager was current Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto. "It just happened tonight", Pujols said.

Pujols got No. 3,000 in his sixth attempt to join the exclusive list after getting to 2,999 career hits.


Pujols would hit his first home run three games later, off Armando Reynoso of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he was on his way. Though for many players that would have been a hit. He's the fourth player in four seasons to reach 3,000 hits, after Rodriguez in 2015, Ichiro Suzuki in 2016 and Adrian Beltre last season. "Then three days later, on Opening Day, I got my first hit".

Ichiro Suzuki earned his 3,000th major league hit on August 7, 2016, with a triple when he was playing for the Miami Marlins. Only 31 players in the MLB's long history have joined this club.

Pujols became the second Dominican to reach the mark after Beltre. The next closest player to 3,000 is Miguel Cabrera, who is more than 300 hits away. He hit.329 in his first season with 37 home runs, winning Rookie of the Year honors and finishing fourth in MVP voting. After Cabrera is Robinson Cano, almost 600 hits away from the mark.

"If you had told me 17 years ago when I was drafted by the Cardinals that I would have had a career like this, I would have laughed at you in the face", Pujols said, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Mariners manager Scott Servais' final season as a major league player was Pujols' first in 2001. Two-way Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani's arrival as the Angels' primary DH has put Pujols in the field, where he remains a capable defender.

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