Albert Pujols didn’t want to reflect on his latest career milestone.
He was just happy to contribute to an Angels win.
Pujols hit his 521st home run to move into 18th place on baseball’s career list and the Los Angeles Angels held on for a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Pujols’ home run, a two-run shot off Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) in the first inning, tied him with Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas on the all-time list.
”At the end of my career I’m going to have plenty of time to look back and see what I’ve done in this game,” said Pujols, who is in the third year of his 10-year contract with the Angels that will take him to 2021.
Pujols said ”it’s special to share my name and be a part of those guys. If you would tell me 16 years ago when I got to this game that I would accomplish what I have, the World Series, big hits, I can’t even imagine.
”But it’s not about me. It’s about the Angels organization and helping my teammates to win games.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said ”that’s a nice neighborhood to be in. … Mike (Trout) has done so much a lot of people overlook how good Albert has been. He’s still one of the top hitters in baseball.”
Pujols has been bothered by knee and foot injuries the past two seasons, limiting his numbers and effectiveness. He said it made a difference ”when I don’t have to worry when I come to spring training and you are aching with a sore foot or knee. That’s not a good feeling, especially when you have 162 games to get yourself ready for.”
Matt Shoemaker (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing a home run to Brad Miller in the third and a two-run shot by Kyle Seager in the sixth. He struck out three and walked none in his six innings.