Angels’ Pujols joins baseball’s select 3,000-hit club

Angels' Pujols joins baseball's select 3,000-hit club

Los Angeles (AFP) – Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols put himself among rarefied Major League Baseball company on Friday as he became the 32nd player to notch 3,000 career hits.

Already just the ninth player to hit 600 career home runs — a milestone he reached in 2017 — Pujols became the fourth player, along with Hank Aaron, Willy Mays and Alex Rodriguez, to number 600 homers among 3,000 hits.

Pujols, who notched hit No. 2,999 on Thursday against Baltimore, nabbed No. 3,000 when he singled to right field off Mariners right-handed hurler Mike Leake in the top of the fifth inning in Seattle.

Pujols was congratulated by teammates near first base, tipping his helmet to an appreciative crowd at Safeco Field.

Pujols added his 3,001st hit, a two-run single in the ninth, to help the Angels complete a 5-0 victory.

Teammate Mike Trout hailed Pujols via Twitter after the game.

“There’s only one Albert Pujols,” Trout tweeted. “The field and the game wouldn’t be the same without you.”

Pujols joined Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre as the only Dominican-born players with 3,000 hits.

A three-time National League Most Valuable Player and two-time World Series champion, the 38-year-old Pujols has had at least 150 hits in 14 of his 17 full major league seasons.

With Japanese hit king Ichiro Suzuki’s move to the Mariners’ front office just this week, Pujols and Beltre are the only active members of the 3,000-hit club.