Albert Pujols Makes MLB History With First Dodgers Home Run

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 3-2 win on Thursday, receiving home runs from Albert Pujols and Will Smith.

Pujols’ blast to the opposite field in the bottom of the second was his first with the Dodgers. “Obviously it felt great. To give our team an early lead, it’s always great,” Pujols said.

“Thank God for giving me the opportunity to be able to hit the ball the other way and out of the ballpark to give an early lead to our ballclub.”

It’s not often Pujols’ home runs land in the right field bleachers, but he decided to go the other way based on how Merrill Kelly approaches batters. “The pitch didn’t make me go that way,” Pujols began to explain.

“We had a great plan that we wanted to execute through the meeting we had with Brownie and Robert, and that’s what we did. I got a good pitch to hit, which was up and away, and I just put the best swing on it.

“I don’t think it was the swing or anything that took me that way — or the pitch. It was something we prepared for, we went through our meeting, we knew how he was going to pitch to us and we executed out there. That was it.”

Pujols joined an exclusive group that includes Shea Hillebrand (2007) and Tim Wallach (1996) as players to hit a home run with the Dodgers and L.A. Angels in the same season.

Pujols also is just the fourth Dodger to hit a homer at 41 years of age or older. The list of players also includes Rickey Henderson (44 years old; twice in 2003), Babe Herman (42; 1945) and Curt Davis (41; 1945).

Pujols additionally became the first player in MLB history to hit a home run for two different teams in the same metro area before the end of May of the same season.

In four games since signing with the Dodgers, Pujols is 3-for-11 with a home run and four RBI.

Pujols feeling rejuvenated with Dodgers

Getting the opportunity to remain close to his family in Southern California and play on a World Series contender has given Pujols new life. “Like I said on Monday, coming through here 20-plus years, I’ve seen the energy this organization has,” he said.

“Whether I was with the Cardinals or Angels, it always seemed like these guys were ready to play every day. I’m just glad to be on this side now and enjoying the energy. Just kind of jumping on the wagon with some of these guys. I’m just excited to contribute and hopefully continue to help this ballclub win.”

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