Albert Pujols stole second base in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Rangers, giving him 100 stolen bases for his career. That moves him into rarefied air, as the Angels’ communications department points out on Twitter: he joins Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays as the fourth player with at least 500 home runs, 100 stolen bases, and a .300 batting average in his career.
Pujols entered the afternoon tied with teammate Mike Trout for the major league lead in home runs at 29 apiece, but Trout went yard for number 30 in the first inning. The 35-year-old veteran is having a tremendous season, coming into the game batting batting .261/.324/.542 with 62 RBI.
Pujols will likely skip at least one more name on the all-time home run list before the season is over. He recently passed Mike Schmidt to move into 15th place all-time with 549. He trails Manny Ramirez’s 555 and Reggie Jackson’s 563, both attainable by the end of the season.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.