Albert Pujols went 111 at-bats into his 10-year, $240-million new life in the American League before finally clubbing a home run on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. It was the longest homerless drought in his career. When he got back to the dugout, his Angels teammates were nowhere to be found. They were hiding in the tunnel to the clubhouse as a bit of a prank to relieve the tension
At the start of the game, Pujols ranked third worst among American League lineup regulars in a key hitting stat, OPS. The Angels didn't commit the future decade to him for his leadership, to take walks, to make PR appearances or because he looks good in a uniform. They signed him to continue being the sport's top hitter, so I'm sure everyone hopes today's milestone takes the pressure off and gets Pujols going. He has a lot of ground to make up. He hit his home run off a rookie pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, Drew Hutchinson. The Angels won 4-3.
Up the freeway in Dodger Stadium, Matt Kemp actually is the best hitter in baseball right now, for millions of dollars less per month. Kemp's 12 home runs on the season lead both leagues. Kemp was scratched from the Dodgers lineup today in Chicago due to a tight hamstring. He flied out as a pinch hitter in the 7th inning, keeping his baseball-best consecutive game streak alive at 393. The Dodgers lost 4-3 to the Cubs.
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