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Albert Pujols ties Ken Griffey Jr. on all-time home run list

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Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols had three hits in last night’s win over the Mariners. Two of those hits were homers — number 629 and 630 of his career — and they tied him with Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time home run list.

The current and future Hall of Famer are now at sixth place all time, 30 behind the number 5 man on the list, Willie Mays. Alex Rodriguez is another 36 ahead at 696.

Pujols is hitting .251/.291/.432 and is currently on pace for 28 homers this year. That would put him at 642 by the end of the season. He’s under contract through 2021. If he stays healthy, at least for him, and if the Angels don’t release him, he has at least a chance to hit 700 homers I figure, even if A-Rod is the last guy he has a real chance of passing.

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.