Albert Pujols hits 698th homer, helps Cards beat Reds 6-5

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Albert Pujols hit his 698th home run, a tying two-run drive in the sixth inning that sparked the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Friday night.

Pujols hit a first-pitch slider from Raynel Espinal 427 feet into the left-field stands for his 19th home run this season, tying the score 4-4. Pujols trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) on the career list.

With 2,203 RBIs, the 42-year-old Pujols moved within 11 of Ruth for second, behind Aaron’s 2,297.

Ryan Helsley struck out Kyle Farmer, Jake Fraley and Donovan Solano on nine pitches for his 18th save in 22 chances, the third immaculate inning in Cardinals history after Bob Gibson in 1969 and Jason Isringhausen in 2002.

Pujols is hitting .324 (45 for 139) with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 47 games since July 10. Five of his last six home runs have come in the sixth inning or later, and his last five homers have tied the game or put St. Louis ahead.

Pujols hit a drive to T.J. Friedl at the left-field wall in the seventh. He is in his 22nd major league season and intends to retire at the end of the season.

St. Louis (85-60), which began the night with a 7 1/2-game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central, has 17 games remaining.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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