The 42-year-old slugger turned back the clock on Thursday, launching his 690th career home run with a third-inning pinch-hit grand slam and the Cardinals swept their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies with a 13-0 win.
Pujols added an RBI single in the seventh inning, but it was his 16th career grand slam that put the game out of reach.
“He looks the same as when he left to me,” pitcher Adam Wainwright said. “This is what he’s supposed to look like, here this stadium, doing these things.”
“My job today it was just to not mess it up,” he said. “The offense was the story. They were incredible you know and Albert hitting the grand slam, I mean we’re just kind of like living in his shadow right, which is where we should be.”
The grand slam by Pujols was his 11th home run of the season as he inches closer to the elusive 700-home run club.
“We’re playing right now, I think the way that we were expecting ourselves to play early in the year,” Pujols said. “We didn’t, but we had some glimpses here and there. Now we’re playing the best baseball we have played all year long.”
Pujols returned to St. Louis in the offseason for what will be his final season in Major League Baseball. In July, the three-time MVP passed Cardinals great Stan Musial for the third-most extra-base hits in MLB history, getting the 1,378th extra-base hit of his storied career.
“I think at the end of the day, just being part of a great organization, a great group of guys that want to win, young players they’re watching, I’m blessed to be here, and just help those guys out,” Pujols said. “It’s fun, trust me.”
The Cardinals are now 66-51, three games up on the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.