And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 10, Athletics 1: Austin Jackson was 4 for 6 with three RBI. Prince Fielder is now hitting .429/.527/.833. Once this team gets its bullpen figured out, man, watch out.

Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0: When Nick Swisher hit a walkoff homer single in a 1-0 game the other day I thought to myself, “man, you don’t see that happen all that often.” Then it happened again, this time with Paul Goldschmidt hitting a game-winning single to win a 1-0 game. If it happens one more time in the next week I’m going to take it as a sign of something important and meaningful and will use the experience to examine everything I thought I knew.

Braves 9, Nationals 0: Impressed yet, Danny Espinosa and Gio Gonzalez? No? What do you need to see, then?

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: Rookie Brandon Maurer was shellacked by the Astros in his last start but tamed the Rangers in this one. Mildly unexpected stuff like this, multiplied by the thousands upon thousands of times they occur during a baseball season, is why I spend most of my energy reacting to things rather than predicting things or acting like I have some key to understanding this game that no one else has. Stuff happens. In a couple thousand games a year. Anyone who ever claims that they know what’s gonna happen in any one, or really, any small handful of games is a liar or a fool.

Red Sox 5, Rays 0: Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the eighth. Pity the Rays broke it up, as it puts them behind their usual schedule of getting no-hit. They’re really gonna have to work to get back on pace.

Rockies 2, Padres 1: Todd Helton’s two-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh would’ve fallen about ten feet in front of the wall a year ago. Hope you like the new dimensions at Petco Park, Padres. You asked for ’em.

Giants 10, Cubs 7: The Cubs threw five wild pitches while giving up four runs in the sixth. Then Shawn Camp balked in what would be the winning run in the tenth. Strong effort, fellas.

Angels 4, Astros 1: Josh Hamilton singled, tripled and homered. That and taking two out of three from Houston is a nice way to make up for Friday night’s embarrassing effort. Perchance that was the low point and now the ship is righted. Or perhaps anyone can take two of three from the Astros.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: This guy was probably happy after Jonathan Lucroy hit a homer in the tenth. All Brewers fans were probably happy to see Milwaukee’s 32-inning scoreless streak end in the eighth when Ryan Braun went deep.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Kansas City avoids being swept with Alex Gordon’s walkoff RBI single. Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings. Jays’ manager John Gibbons said this after the game: “They’re scrappy. They battle you.” If the Royals meet the Diamondbacks in the World Series the narrative-construction is going to be so thick and insufferable I’m probably just gonna give the whole thing a miss and take a vacation someplace instead.

Pirates 10, Reds 7: Michael McKenry hit two homers. The Pirates were down by five heading into the seventh and then scored ten runs in the seventh and eighth. I credit the sweet, sweet pullover jerseys and yellow caps they were wearing.

White Sox 3, Indians 1: Jake Peavy struck out 11 and gave up a lone run helping the pale hose break their five-game losing streak. In other news, I think after a couple years worth of using “Chisox” as this team’s third reference (following “the White Sox” and “Chicago,”) I’m now gonna try hard to use pale hose more often.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: Roy Halladay gets his 200th career win. Assuming you count wins against minor league teams like Miami too.

Yankees 3, Orioles 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut ’em out on five hits without walking a soul. The Yankees continue not to be doomed somehow.

Mets vs. Twins: POSTPONED: The wind it was howling and the snow was outrageous. We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn. When he died I was hoping that it wasn’t contagious. But I made up my mind that I had to go on.

Cards’ Pujols hits 700th career home run, 4th to reach mark

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, connecting for his second drive of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone in major league history.

The 42-year-old Pujols hit No. 699 in the third inning, then launched No. 700 in the fourth at Dodger Stadium.

With the drive in the final days of his last big league season, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.

It’s been a remarkable run for Pujols. This was his 14th home run since the start of August for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st of the season.

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first few rows of the left-field pavilion, the same location his two-run shot touched down the previous inning off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Pujols received a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd – he finished out last season while playing for the Dodgers. He took a curtain call, raising his cap in acknowledgment.

The fans chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” They finally sat down after being on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols snapped a tie with Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the list when he hit career homer No. 697 against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Reaching 700 homers seemed like a long shot for Pujols when he was batting .189 on July 4. But the three-time NL MVP started to find his stroke in August, swatting seven homers in one 10-game stretch that helped St. Louis pull away in the division race.

“I know that early in the year … I obviously wanted better results,” Pujols said after he homered in a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 22. “But I felt like I was hitting the ball hard. Sometimes this game is going to take more away from you than the game (is) giving you back.

“So I think at the end of the day you have to be positive and just stay focused and trust your work. That’s something that I’ve done all the time.”

Pujols has enjoyed a resurgent season after returning to St. Louis in March for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. It’s his highest total since he hit 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

He plans to retire when the season ends.

Pujols also began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

The Dominican Republic native hit at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first 10 seasons. He helped the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

He set a career high with 49 homers in 2006 – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors with 47 homers in 2009 and topped the NL with 42 in 2010.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels. He was waived by the Angels in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 games.