Friday was a memorable day for Southern California baseball, as the Los Angeles Dodgers tossed their first combined no-hitter in franchise history against the San Diego Padres. In addition to that impressive feat, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim first baseman Albert Pujols collected his 3,000th career hit.
The 38-year-old, already a sure-fire bet to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, further strengthened his case Cooperstown by recording his historic single off Seattle Mariners right-hander Mike Leake in the fifth inning.
Pujols became just the fourth player in MLB history to reach 600 career home runs and 3,000 hits. Furthermore, it was the first instance in which a no-hitter and 3,000th hit occurred on the same day.
The 2018 season is Pujols’ 18th as a big leaguer and seventh with the Angels, after previously spending the first 11 years of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Given his prior ties to the National League and current stint with the Angels, Pujols has seen more than his fair share of opportunities against the Dodgers. He recorded two hits in five plate appearances during his first game at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 31, 2001.
Eric Gagne has the honor of being the first Dodgers pitcher to allow a hit to Pujols. Later that game, he recorded his first career RBI against Los Angeles off reliever Matt Herges — a run-scoring double in the ninth inning to cement a Cardinals’ victory.
That was a preview of what was to come over the next 10 seasons as a member of the Cardinals. During the span of 291 plate appearances, Pujols hit .313/.430/.604 against the Dodgers with 19 doubles, 17 home runs and 49 RBI.
Pujols has additionally crossed paths with the Dodgers on two separate occasions in the postseason. The first being the 2004 NL Division Series, where he posted a 1.174 on-base plus slugging with two homers in 18 trips to the plate en route to a series victory and eventual World Series title.
The Dodgers would again encounter Pujols during the 2009 NLDS. This time, however, Los Angeles got the best of St. Louis and swept them in three games — holding the two-time NL MVP to a mortal .762 OPS in the process.
Despite Pujols departing for the crosstown rival Angels in 2011, he has still faced the Dodgers plenty of times in Interleague play.
With the Angels, Pujols owns a batting line of .330/.386/.447 over 114 plate appearances against the Dodgers, with nine doubles, one home run and 15 RBI.
All-in-all, Pujols has posted video game-type numbers against Los Angeles to the tune of a .314/.414/.544 career slash line over 432 plate appearances (97 games) with 115 hits, 30 doubles, 18 home runs and 68 RBI.
To no surprise, Pujols has fared just as well at Chavez Ravine over the course of his career. In 47 games, he is batting .311/.399/.539 across 208 trips to the plate with 56 hits, 14 doubles, nine homers and 32 RBI.
The Dodgers will next see Pujols and the Angels from July 13-15 during the annual Freeway Series.